Last night we learned that the Verizon version of the Galaxy Nexus will not have Google Wallet preloaded. And while that still remains to be the case, Verizon has decided to clarify that it does not "block" applications and that it's not ruling out the possibility that the phone could be Google Wallet-capable in the future. The following statement was issued by Verizon spokesperson Jeffery Nelson a few moments ago:
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.
Nelson clarified for us that the Verizon version of the phone wouldn't come pre-loaded with the app, but that the carrier is working with Google on the issue. While we did assume that Verizon had nixed the app because of its upcoming ISIS platform work, it could very well be that Verizon and Google continue to sort out Wallet carrier and hardware compatibility. Remember, Sprint is the only US carrier offering the service at the moment. Regardless, we'd say there's a ray of hope that one day you'd be able to pay for a taxi ride with the Verizon Galaxy Nexus. Of course, we'd actually need the phone to launch to do that in the first place. Baby steps.
Update: Nelson also told Bloomberg that the concerns over Google Wallet also have to do with "security and user experience" and that the carrier will allow the service "when those goals are achieved." We are currently looking to get further clarification on that as well as the "into a new, secure and proprietary hardware element in our phones" and "commercial" phrasing. Stay tuned.