With the anticipated launch of the Galaxy Nexus from Verizon, it can only be expected that interested parties will be eager to find what sort of applications will be available on the device. Unfortunately, Verizon has requested Samsung to block the ability of mobile payments through the highly useful Google Wallet app. When asked why, Verizon refused to further comment on this unexpected turn of events.
Hours later, much talk has been exchanged about this decision. Fearing that this is one feature that will disappoint its users, Jeffrey Nelson (a spokesman from Verizon) said that the company will ‘not be technically blocking the app’. At the moment, the company is still discussing the issue with Google. Instead of blocking this app, Nelson believes that the Google Wallet is different from other applications in that it requires integration with a new hardware element on their phones.
“Google Wallet is different from other widely-available m-commerce services,” he said in an e-mailed comment. “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.”
Meanwhile, it is still unknown as to how the exclusion of this app is related to the recently formed partnership between with Isis. A while back, we reported that Isis formed a partnership with the three largest networks in the USA, namely AT&T, T-Mobile USA, and Verizon Wireless; as an attempt to tap on the industry of mobile payments.
Despite the release of other digital wallets by other companies, it is Google who was the first to venture into this market. Ever since its launch in September, Android users were able to make purchases using their smartphones, providing it is equipped with NFC (Near-Field Communications) Technology. As of the moment, Sprint is the only carrier partner that offers the service on the Nexus S 4G. But as soon as more NFC equipped smartphones are released, other carriers will be joining this bandwagon too.
Compared to the offering of NFC technology, Isis is looking at a different approach to this mobilization. Unlike NFC, Isis aims to be a neutral platform which credit card issuers, retailers and payment networks can use to introduce their service to customers. The good thing about Isis is that it does not gain access to any customer data provided. Its release is expected to be next year.
If you’ve been looking forward to the release of Samsung Galaxy Nexus, are you disappointed that the first Android 4.0 ICS phone will not be capable of mobile payments? Speaking of which, the Galaxy Nexus has already shown an appearance in the UK. Later this week, it will also be launched in Canada. We’ve also seen leaked red packaging photos which gave us the implication that the Nexus is nearing its official Verizon launch; a date which Verizon still has not disclosed.
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The US really needs some of the EU reform–the FCC really needs to step up and turn US carriers into “dumb pipelines” before it’s too late.