Update: 9to5Google is sharing a new statement from Verizon:
Recent reports that Verizon is blocking Google Wallet on our devices are false. Verizon does not block applications.
Google Wallet is different from other widely-available m-commerce services. Google Wallet does not simply access the operating system and basic hardware of our phones like thousands of other applications. Instead, in order to work as architected by Google, Google Wallet needs to be integrated into a new, secure and proprietary hardware element in our phones.
We are continuing our commercial discussions with Google on this issue.
Google Wallet is shaping up to be a potentially very important product for Google. Last month, the company even announced that it was shutting down Google Checkout, its payments product, in favor of Google Wallet. Google’s goal is to build “one wallet”.
Well, if that’s the wallet you want to use, you better not get a Verizon Galaxy Nexus, because Verizon won’t allow it. JR Raphael has confirmation from a Google spokesperson that the device will not include Google Wallet because of Verizon, which is working on its own NFC-based payment service. He notes that this may or may not be the reason.
Based on a report from Amir Efrati at the Wall Street Journal, it sounds like Verizon may not want to preload the app on the phone, but isn’t opposed to letting users download it in the future. Google told the WSJ that users won’t be able to download it through the Android Market on the device, but Verizon said that it’s working out “security and other issues around mobile payments,” with a Verizon spokesperson adding, “"We're working to provide expanded services that will provide the best security and user experience in the market around m-commerce. "We expect to provide access to an open wallet when those goals are achieved."
Efrati cites a “person familiar with the matter” as saying Verizon won’t prevent users from downloading Google Wallet when it’s cleared.
So far, the Google Wallet can only be installed on the Nexus S 4G from Sprint, according to the product’s FAQ page. It says that “potentially over time” it will be available for other mobile devices and platforms. Thanks to Verizon, it looks like the ambitious product might get off to something of a rocky start.
Google hasn’t been shy about getting Google Wallet merchants on board, despite the products lack of compatible devices. Places that already accept Google Wallet include: American Eaagle, Macy’s Champs, Bloomingdales, Banana Republic, Foot Locker, Old Navy, Toys R Us, OtficeMax, Guess, Jamba Juice, and others. Chevron and Subway are among merchants listed as “coming soon”.
The Galaxy Nexus is expected to be released this month. It looks like Best Buy will have it in their hands on December 11. Some rumors have its release as soon as this Friday.