When the Samsung Galaxy Nexus launched on Verizon’s network late last week, it did so without Google Wallet, Google’s much anticipated mobile payment platform. Verizon blocked the app on the device, citing vague security concerns about the platform’s integration with the phone’s hardware. Despite a report from a security firm suggesting that Google Wallet really does have security issues, many speculated that Verizon was trying to kill Google Wallet in order to make room for ISIS, a mobile payment platform co-founded by Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile.
Unfortunately for Verizon, though, Android has a thriving community of people who specialize getting features on their phones that they aren’t supposed to have. The result is a fairly easy process that allows users to install Google Wallet on their phones – and a $10 prepaid MasterCard, to boot. While Google’s vision for Google Wallet is that it be tightly integrated into the hardware – specifically the near field communication equipment – the hack installs it just like any other app, though reports seem to be that it works just as well.
There is no word yet on when, or if, Verizon will officially be bringing Google Wallet to the Galaxy Nexus. Nor do we know yet if AT&T and T-Mobile will follow Verizon’s lead in shutting Google out of the very lucrative mobile payment market by blocking Google Wallet on their versions of the device as well. If they do, we can be sure that it won’t keep determined users from getting it anyway, thanks to Android’s determined rooting community.
Meanwhile, Verizon’s blocking of Google Wallet strikes many on Twitter as a dirty trick.
@FCC shouldinvestigate http://t.co/Ee6S78L9Verizon’s blocking of GoogleWallet hurts consumers,competition&innovation in mobilepayments&apps.