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Verizon won't activate the Nexus 7 until Google delivers a KitKat update

Verizon won't activate the Nexus 7 until Google delivers a KitKat update

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It's been three months since the Nexus 7 was supposed to arrive on Verizon's LTE network, but Verizon is still refusing to activate the device. Now, the company is blaming Google and device manufacturer Asus for the delay getting the tablet certified. Verizon told Android Police that after it discovered a "systems issue" during the certification process, Google and Asus actually asked the cellular carrier not to certify the tablet for Verizon LTE until an update to Android 4.4 could arrive.

Here's Verizon's statement:

During the certification process for the Nexus 7, Google, Asus and Verizon uncovered a systems issue that required Google and Asus to undertake additional work with the Jelly Bean OS running on the device. Since Google was about to launch its new Kit Kat OS, rather than undertake this work, Google and Asus asked Verizon to suspend its certification process until Google's new OS was available on the Nexus 7.

We've reached out to Google and Asus for confirmation, and until then we have to give Verizon the benefit of the doubt, but the excuse is a peculiar one. Some Verizon customers have reported no issues getting the Nexus 7 to work with Verizon's LTE network when simply swapping in an existing SIM card.

Poor timing or savvy business move?

Verizon stands to benefit the longer it takes for Nexus 7 support to arrive. The company just announced its own competing 7-inch tablet, the Ellipsis 7, which both costs more than the Nexus 7 and comes with weaker tech specs. We haven't reviewed the Ellipsis 7 yet, but in a fair fight it's probably safe to say the Nexus 7 would win.

If this is a business decision rather than a technical problem, then Verizon is standing on shaky ground. When the company purchased spectrum from the FCC in 2008 — the spectrum that underpins its LTE network now — it agreed to an open access provision. The company promised that customers could use any device of their choice on that network.

We'll let you know what Google, Asus, and Verizon have to say on the subject.