Verizon: We Aren’t Blocking Google Wallet, it’s a Security thing


Verizon has issued a statement to lend some clarity to the recent Google Wallet drama that has many soon-to-be owners of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus all worked up. In Verizon’s own words, “[the carrier] does not block applications.” The reasoning for Google Wallet’s absence from the Galaxy Nexus is the security concerns that arise from the “new, secure and proprietary hardware element” that would be necessary for Google Wallet to be implemented. Here is the full statement. Take from it what you will:

“Statement from Jeffrey Nelson, spokesperson for Verizon:

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.”

[via Verizon | Thanks to all who sent this in!]

Kevin Krause
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  1. Whatever you say Verizon.

  2. Bullshit…. That is all

  3. Bull crap.

  4. what? I read the quote, but just don’t get it. What do they want google to do?

  5. BS, it’s all about money and power.

  6. I’m sorry, but what “commercial discussions” are required to solve an engineering issue?
    I don’t trust Verizon at all.

  7. They why does sideloading work, if the Galaxy Nexus does not have this hardware element?

    Or does this “hardware element” only exist in the GSM model, and not in the CDMA/LTE one?

    1. @crazydog:disqus : For what it’s worth, I can’t install the Wallet app from the online market, and I have a completely unlocked GSM version of Galaxy Nexus.It is blocked and says it’s “not supported by my carrier”.  Unfortunately, this is BS since my phone is completely unlocked and has no carrier.

      1. you can still sideload the google wallet apk,

        just because the android market hasn’t flipped the switch allowing the Galaxy Nexus to download google wallet app, Does Not mean you can’t download it some other way and install it.

  8. Can I be the first to say: Huh?

  9. why not let the consumers choose who or what program/implementation of NFC-based payment systems to use on our economy-impacting purchases (of the galaxy nexus ofc)?

    1. Because corporate profits > consumer choice.

      1. Thaaaat’s right, and its why I continue to avoid Verizon. I don’t care how good their networks are, they’re pricks to their customers and think that they can do whatever they want without any impact.

        1. And the sad part is that they can. Verizon customers don’t have the ball to stand up for themselves. I don’t care how good a company is, if you’re doing me wrong, I’m gone.

          Previous Verizon customer

          1. Ditto.  Former Verizon and former AT&T here.  Sprint FTW!

  10. Verizon just poked Google in the eye.  What are you gonna do about that Google?? 

    1. “Buy it and turn it into a parking lot, then find all the stray dogs and homeless people I can to pee on that parking lot.  And then I will make the #1 match to every google search “Verizon is just a stinky, urine soaked parking lot”,  Thats what.”


      1. lol ah man Im gonna street view that.

  11. so what about carrier iq?

    1. Nexus is as close to pure android as you can get. so that means no Carrier IQ is installed on any of the Nexus Phones.

      1. You would think so, but the Nexus brand is just a name now. Next year they’ll release an htc nexus with sense on it. If there wasn’t such a shitstorm ovrr Carrier IQ then my money would have been on the gnexus sporting Carrier IQ.

  12. Strange…. it works on the Nexus S just fine… what’s unique with the new Nexus phone – other than it being on Verizon and they support Isis?!?!

    1. Exactly. This just means Verizon asked Google (and/or Samsung) to not include the “security” piece in their version of the Nexus, thereby preventing gWallet from being included.  Same party is still the trouble maker.

      Also, UP Bucky!  ;)

  13. LOL @ how this is one of the few (if only one of two?) Verizon Press Releases about the Galaxy Nexus. They were quick to do this, but are still unable to announce a release date?

  14. Don’t they already block tethering apps?

    1. I think by “block” they mean impossible to install. You can still sideload tethering apps. They just can’t be installed from the Android Market.

      1. Unless you are running Cyanogen, Bugless Beast, etc. I have no problems with it on my rooted Incredible.

  15. BS. They don’t actually state as to what we could have as a threat. If it had privacy issues then it wouldn’t be on any other GN.

  16. *cough* BS *cough*

    1. Just like it non-AT&T phones would destroy the AT&T network 30 years ago.  

      Blatant lies are just lube for the rape.

      1. that’s not what rape means.

        1. Are you mad bro that you got raped in prison? 

          1. I wish there was a way to kill you (along with everyone else like you) with words on the internet!

            Sadly, there isn’t.
            A guy can dream right?

          2. Are you mad bro that you’re a rape victim? 

          3. you might want to come up with more original lines then stating the same thing over and over again.
            If you’re going to troll at least be good at it there is an art to it sadly you lack

          4. I realize too that you think you’re being shocking, “oh look at me I’m so original I am using the rape line”. 
            but considering a rock is more intelligence than you your line has no effect whatsoever

      2. I wonder if there is a documented case of a rapist using lube.  

  17. “Why? Because fuck you, that’s why.”

    1. This should be on the VZW homepage

  18. He is referring to the firmware update that will probably be required for the NFC chip. Its necessary for the European Galaxy Nexus and the TMobile Nexus S before the hacked version of Google Wallet can work.

    What he isn’t telling you is that even if Google Wallet is allowed onto Verizon’s phones, you can bet it will only arrive after ISIS has had a healthy head start.

  19. Verizon: No Google Wallet for you!

    Android Community: WTF?!  [RAGE]

    Verizon: Oh crap, I think we pissed them off… uh… we are working with Google on resolving [insert technical bull$#1+ issues here].

    Android Community: [angry glare]

    1. it’s pretty funny how upset people get over Verizon trying to make money.

      1. lmao but he is right, you piss off the android community, you better fix some shit or your ass is grass

      2. I don’t think thats funny at all.

  20. So Verizon says it’s an ‘issue’?

    Does this mean it may come down the road?

    1. They will lead us to believe so but then it will just never become available.  

  21. Whatev.  That’s some side-steppin’ BS

  22. Nooo

  23. At this point I don’t know why anyone would buy a Galaxy Nexus from Verizon (holding up the phone to increase sells of the Droid line for Christmas, bloatware installed, and this).  Google should be embarrassed that they gave Verizon the US exclusive to only let Verizon run all over them and sabotage their own phone in favor of their own.

    1. you do realize that verizon and google do not exist to serve you, but to report a profit to their shareholders, right? they owe you exactly what you owe them: nothing.

      1. This fiasco that is the Verizon Galaxy Nexus is not helping Google at all.  In fact, I would say it has been a complete failure.  Until Google can learn how to launch a phone it will continue to a failure.  Launching on one carrier that is doing it’s best to kill the phone is hurting the Nexus brand.

        1. I wish you were wrong here.  It’s very sad, but hopefully a learning experience for them.  No exclusivity, launch on all carriers on the same day with the same phone with google wallet and all services intact.  

      2. Isn’t it by definition that a company that provides a service is there to serve customers?

    2. It’s a two sided problem too. If no one buys the Nexus then they will assume that everyone wants bloated phones with skins on them and we will never get another vanilla phone again.. If everyone buys the Nexus they will think we all don’t mind that they are monkeying with it and they might try to get away with more the next time around. Either way, we lose. But, it’s easier to undo their tweaks on Nexus phones than it is to remove everything from locked down phones so I’ll still be getting the Nexus.

      1. actually, it’s not a two sided problem. it’s a simple problem with a simple solution. buy an actual vanilla phone from another carrier. to use hypothetical numbers that i know are unreasonable, if Verizon saw  40% of their customers going over to sprint and all buying the same phone and same plan they would get the message real quick about what people wanted and what they would put up with and they would have to change their policies. as it stands, people will bitch and moan and then hand them money so they don’t care. 

        1. You sir, are 100% correct. No matter what Verizon does to this phone people will complain and then go out and buy it anyway.

          1. I agree with you guys. Though I’m not one of the ones complaining about everything. And ionekoa is right, I could go to Sprint. But then, I’m stuck with sprint who has no 4G and there 3G is painfully slow. Might as well get a flip phone and an iPod touch at that point because it would only be useful in WiFi. 

          2. I have a nexus S on Sprint and my only complaints are no SD slot and the battery has never charged to 100%(yeah, the highest it’s gone is 96% and I’m aware that batteries don’t maintain a 100% charge when they peak, but I mean it’s never gone beyond 96%).  

            if people were to mass exodus to Sprint 2 things would happen. 1) Sprint’s infrastructure would improve. the increased revenue would enable them to build new towers with new technology. and 2) Verizon and other carriers would take notice and start to rethink their business practices. the problem is that too many people are afraid to take the leap because they don’t want to deal with the loss of service(which i don’t doubt would happen, but it would be temporary) or they have an irrational hatred of Sprint, who happens to have some of the best policies and plans out there. 

  24. So basically, neither Google or Verizon appear to be able to make decisions. For crying out loud! The phone was announced over a month ago, and still no fixed “for sale” date here in the USA. May I simply point out again that Google started in California. Why oh why do Google, Verizon, and Samsung take far too long to deploy a mobile phone. My hat goes off to Apple for the method of launching a device. There are rumors, but they they actually give the entire world the date and they are able to meet that marketing date.  

    Nevertheless, all this mystery is sort of fun about the Galaxy Nexus. Though, perhaps it is a simple tool by Google/Samsung/Verizon marketing to acquire free press about the phone?

  25. The phone has the hardware so this is complete bullshit.

  26. Obvious doublespeak is obvious.

  27. I want Google wallet on my to be gn

  28. It’s not safe. What don’t people understand? Just because it works on another phone doesn’t mean it’s safe. But I agree, it should be allowed to be used if you choose to take the risk.

  29. What a load of shit, Google Wallet requires that hardware so it can be secure and it’s proprietary so it can stay secure. Total bull shit.

  30. “our phones” – that’s funny… I didn’t think Verizon manufactured Samsung’s phones or had anything to do with their hardware but I guess Verizon thinks they own everything, start to finish.

  31. “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.”

    Sorry, *whose* phones?

    1. I dont think that is a slip, that is how they think, we own the network, and we will decide what customers can do on our network!!

  32. stop complaining, or they may delay the launch even more to “fix” this issue.

  33. The reason is very simple.  1) They are with Isis so they are giving their concept a leg up.  2)  The reason they are with Isis is they get a cut of the pie.  Their “technical discussions” are nothing more then them negotiating to get a percentage of Google Wallet revenue.  AT&T is also evaluating how they can get a cut of purchases done through their phones and we should expect the same behavior from them.  The carrier’s argument is “we allow these devices on our network therefore we are entitled to a percentage of all revenue generated off of the devices”  That is akin to my home Internet provider getting a cut of every online purchase I make.  It is insane.  The problem is we continually let the big bullies get bigger until we no longer have power over them. They have power over us and we get what they want us to get.  This is a big part of why I was against the AT&T/TMobile merger and why I think Verizon is already too big for their britches.  They control too much market share and therefore consistently work against the best interests of the consumer.  Your only true way to speak your mind and make a change is to put your money where your mouth is and do not spend any money with these companies.  Verizon and AT&T can do all the screwing of customers they want but if we all start leaving them they will be forced to change their tune.

    1. I’m not sure where you are getting your facts about Verizon negotiating to get a percentage of the revenue. I’m in no way saying you are wrong, I’m just guessing that you are speculating (like we all are). And I agree that the only way to get them to listen is with our wallets but where do you propose I go with my money? Sprint who has painfully slow 3g and no real 4g? I can’t really see switching to another provider because it would basically render having a phone pointless when it becomes nearly unusable. Again, I’m not attacking you. I’m just saying we as consumers don’t really have many options here.

      1. As Elijah said, you have options.  Sprint’s 4G is very much real, as I use it every day and their 3G works perfectly fine for me too.  He’s also right about their customer service being very helpful.  

    2. I put my money on Sprint long ago after Verizon falsely advertised bluetooth functionality and also was blocking Gmail’s java app due to “security reasons”. People forget so fast. I see Sprint as “the least evil”, they are all evil, that is the nature of the monetary system anyways.

      Sprint’s customer service is actually pretty good now a days, everyone speaks native English too!

      1. Sprint set up a web portal to allow government agencies easy access to your call, text, and location data.  At&T isn’t much better. 

        As far as “least evil” of the mobile companies, you’re probably looking for T-Mobile… although honestly, I don’t use them because their coverage at my house stinks.

  34. In other words “because this device is open by googles rules, it is then not secure enough to use Google’s money service. And because Isis says ‘No Wai.'”

  35. And after all their meddling with the phone and the release date and the phone doesn’t sell that well, verizon will use the results of their own missteps to convince themselves that people aren’t really interested in a nexus device.

  36. Hopefully google chooses AT&T next year.

    All this and I’m still going to give you my money!? This may still be the lesser of two(3) evils.

  38. *COUGH*

    It has nothing to do with their stake in ISIS or anything. Least they could do is be upfront about it….

  39. Just like they don’t block tethering apps

    1. they dont, you just have to pay for a tethering plan. ;)

      1. Tethering was a native feature in Android, they BLOCKED it by adding software that notifies them when you’re using it so they could make money off a feature your phone provides for free, all while calling their data “unlimited”

        1. but you can still use it. Albeit, with a charge. Its called a loophole. Not saying that I like it.

  40. This is so sad that the US carriers have so much power. Manipulating devices, putting their crapware on the phone, making people sign long contracts… They are the worst among US companies and they are the worst among mobile operators all over the world. Look at UK mobile market. They have more pay-as-you-go phones and more choice on monthly plans. They even get Galaxy Nexus before us!

    1. I don’t know anyone that forces you to sign long contracts. I’m pretty sure you are free to buy whatever phone you want without a contract. Also, doesn’t Canada have 3 year contracts? Imagine if you signed one of those for the original Moto Droid….you would still have another year left. Sounds painful doesn’t it.

    2. Don’t give them too much credit. Ask any Brit. how their LTE networks doing and they’ll give you the finger.

    3. There is no law forcing anyone to sign a “long contract”
      We also have plenty of “pay as you go” options.
      The whole point of the contract is so that you can get a discount on a super expensive phone.
      You see a pricetag of $300, but guess what? the phone costs TWICE that amount. You pay for the rest through your contract. nothing fancy here, just good business.
      Any phone can be purchased at full price and used off-contract as long as it’s compatible with that carrier.
      My Nexus S (bought from Best Buy, used with TMO) was around $600, but i’m not on contract :) so my monthly rates make up for the difference over 2 years. Simple isn’t it?

      1. You don’t have to have a contract, this is true. No one is forcing you to get a subsidized phone. Yet carriers use the subsidy as a reason for higher contract prices. That would be fully understandable, however, last I checked, VZ’s off-contract rates are HIGHER then the contract rates. So what’s the alternative?

        1. lol good point about VZW. I can only guess that their service quality is so good that an extra $10 or $20 a month is worth it to the customers, but yeah i’m pretty worried about how the data package wars will pan out over the next years, we could see our bills go wayyyy up.

  41. From the Google Wallet website:

    “Google Wallet stores your encrypted payment card credentials on a computer chip on your phone called the Secure Element. Think of the Secure Element as a separate computer, capable of running programs and storing data.”

    The website also says that Google Wallet only works with the Sprint Network currently. Am I the only one who noticed this? Did everyone really think that it would come to Verizon with no trouble at all? Seriously, you’re all idiots. Verizon isn’t fantastic or anything, but they aren’t evil and trying to screw their customers over any way they can.

    Also, if they are trying to screw over the customer, then why do they allow google maps and navigator when it takes away from VZNavigator? Stop being such drama queens and let what happens happen. You’ll probably find out you had a conniption for nothing.

  42. “m-commerce” now that’s a new one ;)

    1. I’m assuming Mobile Commerce? I’ve never heard that either though.

  43. Oh, well that makes sense then. “We don’t block applications, we’re blocking this application.”

    1. and easytether

  44. So, how can we hurt Verizon without damaging the Nexus line?

    1. You can’t, they already make enough money that they stopped caring about their customers. They can do pretty much whatever they want.

  45. Splitting hairs: Verizon does not block the applications, someone at Google pushes that button but is commanded to by someone at Verizon.

  46. “Google Wallet needs to be integrated into a new, secure and proprietary hardware element in our phones.”

    …yes, that would be the NFC chip that is already installed… here’s your sign.

  47. Wait… there must be some mistake. Verizon said “our phones.” Don’t they mean my phone? If I paid for it, it’s my device Verizon, not yours…

  48. All I heard was BS.They should just come out and say the real reason Google Wallet will not be available on the Galaxy Nexus instead of throwing out these lies.We already know why : $$$$$.

  49. With all this B.S. they’ve gone through with Verizon..Google just needs to grow a big hairy set and become their own carrier and sell nothing but pure google smartphones and tablets! 

    1. like buy tmobile

  50. “…Google Wallet needs to be integrated into a new, secure and proprietary hardware element in our phones.”

    So, the Galaxy Nexus is a Verizon phone and not a Google phone??? I’m confused…

  51. Why Google and Samsung don´t buy T-Mobile and implement VoIP eliminating the voice signal and TXT. The customers just would need an internet plan for everything.

  52.  Dear Google I love you so much but you are sleeping with the nasty whore in the neighborhood and her name is Verizon. She is going to destroy your product release, and deny you the right to show the world your original intent with stock devices. Please find a new mistress. She can not be trusted.

  53. Verizon conspiring with other carriers to collectively block another company’s product sure sounds like an antitrust violation.

  54. Aside from all the knee-jerk comments here, I believe I’ve discovered the technical reason behind Verizon’s “new, secure and proprietary hardware element”. It has to do with Android’s lack of API support for direct UICC access (which is conveniently what Isis is based on). Read more about it here:

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