Verizon Galaxy Nexus cannot use Google Wallet, Sprint only

Summary:News that the Galaxy Nexus will not work with Google Wallet on the Verizon network is causing an uproar. Fact is, Google's deal with Sprint is exclusive, and Verizon can't use the service.

Updated: The Galaxy Nexus is the latest Google Android flagship phone first launched in the EU, and now coming to the U. S. on the Verizon network. Since this is a "pure Google" phone, news organizations are making a big deal about the exclusion of the Google Wallet NFC payment system by Verizon. Guess what? It's not a Verizon exclusion, Google has only had a deal with Sprint since the debut of Google Wallet. Verizon can't use Google Wallet due to that deal by Google.

Update: Google is stating that Verizon requested the removal of Google Wallet on the Galaxy Nexus. While that may be, as previously reported Google Wallet is only active on the Sprint network since its launch.

Update #2: Verizon has responded that it is not blocking Google Wallet. It further states that commercial discussions with Google are ongoing. It's about the money, as usual. Google will surely have to pay Verizon to play.

While the Verizon Galaxy Nexus has the NFC hardware to use Google Wallet, it would require a partnership with Google to enable it for use with Wallet. Apparently Google's deal with Sprint, in place since the previous Android flagship phone, the Nexus S, is exclusive so far. While Android purists believe any Galaxy Nexus should be able to use Google Wallet, that's never been the case.

The older Nexus S has NFC but can't use Google Wallet. Only the Sprint model, the Nexus S 4G, can use Google's NFC payment system. The same will be true of the Galaxy Nexus; should Sprint carry the phone you can bet it will have Google Wallet enabled, and exclusively so.

This isn't a carrier limitation, this is a Google limitation based on an existing business deal. That's not news, that's the way it is.

Image credit: Matt Miller

See also:

Topics: Mobility, Google, Government, Government : UK, Hardware, Mobile OS, Security, Smartphones, Telcos


James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

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