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Verizon issues new statement on Google Wallet, “continuing discussions with Google”

Following up on our Verizon blocking Google Wallet report last night, Verizon spokesperson extraordinaire Jeffrey Nelson just emailled us with an updated statement that moves from vagary to confusion.

Statement from Jeffrey Nelson, Verizon spokesperson . . .  on Google Wallet

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.

“OUR Phones?”  The Google Galaxy Nexus is now a Verizon phone, not a Google phone.  So the Verizon iPhone isn’t Apple’s either it would seem.  However, Google has told us previously that you can get your Google Galaxy Nexus Android updates from Google, not Verizon.

Making Google Wallet’s NFC sound scary and experimental is a controversial tactic – especially when Verizon is heavily invested in a competing NFC payments consortium, ISIS.  Verizon will obviously not only bless, but push ISIS on its phones next year when the spec is finalized.  As for Wallet, Google’s Samsung Nexus S on Sprint has been running Google Wallet for months.

Then to make the obvious more obvious, Verizon slips up in the final sentence. Right after saying the Wallet blockade is a technical issue (“needs to be integrated into a new, secure and proprietary hardware element”), they say that Verizon and Google are continuing COMMERCIAL (not technical) discussions about the app.

Oops.  So which issue needs to be worked out to get Wallet onto the Galaxy Nexus?  Is it a technical issue or commercial?

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