Verizon Galaxy Nexus cannot use Google Wallet, Sprint only

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

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  • RE: Verizon Galaxy Nexus cannot use Google Wallet, Sprint only

    You realize that every other major news outlet (reuters, Time, etc) are all reporting it's due to Verizon requesting it removed because they want to go with the ISIS platform, which they co-developed with AT&T and T-mobile? This explains why the nexus S wallet didn't exist on the other two carriers; the last thing Verizon wants is competition in the mobile identity market.

    They source a google spokesperson on the matter. Who's yours?
    • RE: Verizon Galaxy Nexus cannot use Google Wallet, Sprint only

      @James Kendrick
      Fact?? What fact??? Are you even ever right?? How about writing a nice article about the antitrust case of Apple in Europe about collusion to jacking up the prices for consumers???
  • So much for Google's statementst that

    "we're doing this all for the end user!" BS.

    Why would Google need to make an exclusive deal unless they caculated that they'll make more money this way as opposed to letting every one benefit from Google Wallet.
    William Farrell
    • RE: Verizon Galaxy Nexus cannot use Google Wallet, Sprint only

      @William Farrell
      Stick to Apple's antitrust case of collusion to jack up prices for ebooks for consumers. I'm sure they were doing it for the end user.
  • Google was meant to be on Sprint

    Google voice's deep integration with Sprint makes it awesome choice in first place. the fact is if you want Android phone go with Sprint. want Iphone still go with sprint for their unlimited data. I switched from verizon 2 years back..people with verizon/att are paying unnecessary premium for verizon/att brand
    • I like Sprint but their coverage is even worse than AT&T's


      But Sprint's coverage still stomps TMob. Verizon's coverage is unbeatable but their costs are a bit too high. AT&T finds a happy median but they still bite as a provider.
    • RE: Verizon Galaxy Nexus cannot use Google Wallet, Sprint only

      @neo0917 <br>I dunno. I have been a sprint customer for 10 years. While that unlimited is great if you actually use that much, I have concerns about their data network. It was never great to begin with, just ok. But since the week before iphone came onboard sprint, the data network has stunk for me in northern ca. I keep getting messages on the phone now that data connection cannot be made. In the 10 years that I had this plan with sprint this has never happened. The first time this message showed up (day before iphone 4s release), data went out for about 5 hours. Then the subsequent 2-3 weeks I would see sporadic outage here and there for anywhere between 1-10 minutes. Data download feels slower. Could be just me after seeing all these data disconnect messages but it feels a little bit more sluggish to me. Plus the way sprint jacked me in the last few years (taking away my premiere status probably because they don't want premiere customers getting dirt cheap price on iphones, keep adding these "premium data charges") I'm done with sprint.
    • RE: Verizon Galaxy Nexus cannot use Google Wallet, Sprint only

      Agreed Sprint is the way to go for Android, and iPhone. And yes Google voice integration with Sprint is awesome, I have ported my main Sprint number to Google voice and the options are amazing. You have total control of you incoming outgoing calls, voice mail, and everything in between. Imagine not being afraid of giving your number out to a stranger, just spam them, or block them.
      Some Internet Dude
  • RE: Verizon Galaxy Nexus cannot use Google Wallet, Sprint only

    "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."

    Bad decision is still bad decision. Exclusivity deals are not win-win.
  • RE: Verizon Galaxy Nexus cannot use Google Wallet, Sprint only

    This is hard to believe given you have not cited a single source declaring that Google and Sprint have an exclusive deal involving Google Wallet. It is even harder to believe since, as Matt Williamson pointed out, numerous credible sources have cited that Google themselves said that Verizon asked them not to include Google Wallet on the Verizon Galaxy Nexus.
    • RE: Verizon Galaxy Nexus cannot use Google Wallet, Sprint only

      @RonniePhan The post has been updated to reflect that Google is claiming Verizon asked to remove Google Wallet. It also has been updated with a source from the launch of Google Wallet that states it is Sprint only. It is indeed exclusive in the only Sprint is signed up.
      • There is a difference between exclusive and unique.


        Exclusive implies others are not invited.
        Unique means that only one has so far access.

        Huge difference.
  • RE: Verizon Galaxy Nexus cannot use Google Wallet, Sprint only

    From what we are hearing Verizon has solidly stood in the way of Google Wallet on its network. The Galaxy Nexus has the required embedded secure element and NFC IC. The hold up in the launch has been due to the Google Wallet and Verizon's insistance that it doesn't hit its network due to its Isis involvement. Sprint committed itself to an "open NFC ecosystem" and there is not an exclusivity deal in place. Eventually Isis will not be able to contain other NFC mobile wallets as the industry moves to peer-to-peer to get around MNO restrictions, but the big argument is really who controls the secure element. The wallet wars are in full swing and Isis hasn't even been able to put together a decent NFC mobile wallet despite having C-Sam invloved who arguably have one of the best wallets available.
    • RE: Verizon Galaxy Nexus cannot use Google Wallet, Sprint only

      sounds like verizon is making sure if their nfc don't work, nobody else is going to be allowed in their realm.

      I think part of the delay of GN is also because VZ wanted more time to market rezound and razr rather than have GN cannibalize those sales. And by getting exclusive on GN, they ensure all the die hards won't go anywhere else but verizon. Its a total lose lose situation. They don't want to release GN in a timely manner and they won't let anyone else have a shot either.

      I already hate verizon and I'm not even a customer yet.
      • Or the other players are coordinating a better launch.


        The existing "wallets" (including Google's) are worthless jokes with such limited acceptance and minimal installments, there is little reason to use or have them.

        Google decided to "go it alone" and try to force a its vision on the industry while the industry was working on a solution (Isis). If done right, the roll out will be very fast and very complete allowing the walets to be used at 90% of the major vendors within 6-12 months.