updated 02:30 pm EST, Tue December 6, 2011
Verizon says Wallet block is security
Verizon on Tuesday denied blocking Google Wallet on the Galaxy Nexus. Spokesman Jeffrey Nelson claimed that the nature of the NFC-based payment system wasn't just top-level and had to be integrated into a "new, secure and proprietary hardware element" to work properly. He was adamant that, despite the app not being on the device or in Android Market, it wasn't a case of Verizon trying to censor apps.
"Verizon does not block applications," Nelson insisted. "We are continuing our commercial discussions with Google on this issue."
The remarks partly run against earlier remarks, where the representative said Verizon wouldn't clear Google Wallet until it produced the "best security and user experience" and would only put it through "when those goals are achieved." However, the reference is now more likely to technical ability than any Verizon policy.
Concerns had been raised that Verizon might have been violating FCC net neutrality rules barring blocks on legitimate apps. Many had suspected that Verizon wanted to discourage competition with the upcoming Isis system that Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile are all working on for early 2012. Google Wallet currently only works on Sprint's Nexus S 4G and led to speculation that Google chose Sprint because it couldn't get a promise of quick integration from Verizon in addition to Sprint being the lone holdout from Isis among the top four carriers.
Carriers, even those that have a stake in Isis, are likely to still want multiple NFC-based systems, both to avoid relying too much on one partner but also to encourage smartphone use as much as possible.