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Verizon Slaps Google, Bans Wallet From Samsung Galaxy Nexus

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google-wallet-deniedAmid the debate on Verizon’s motivations for allegedly blocking Google Wallet from the soon-to-be-released Samsung Galaxy Nexus, they’ve released a statement to claiming security concerns drive the decision and that they’re open to reconsidering:

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.

- Jeffrey Nelson, Verizon spokesperson

This doesn’t exactly jive with a Google spokesperson’s statement to Wired on Monday, who claimed, “Verizon asked us not to include this functionality in the product.” It sounded like a done deal at that point; if negotiations are ongoing, they’re certainly last-minute, given the widely rumored launch date of this Friday, December 9.

Skeptics point to the ISIS consortium between Verizon, AT&T, and T-mobile as a far more likely reason for the 11th hour request. ISIS is a mobile payment project by the three carriers, designed to put out a NFC (near-field communication) payment system to rival Google Wallet as early as next year. This could present real problems for Google Wallet, given that three of the four top telecoms have a vested interest in blocking Wallet (Sprint opted out of ISIS).

What do you think of Verizon’s explanation for keeping Google Wallet off the Nexus? Let us know in a comment. We will continue to watch for updates as the launch date nears.

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