Verizon blames Google and ASUS for Nexus 7 activation woes; cites Android 4.3 “systems issue”


With the launch of the Nexus 5 and Verizon customers being snubbed yet again, folks were starting to wonder if Google and Verizon were in some sort of spat over what happened with the Nexus 7. If you don’t remember, the Nexus 7 was originally advertised to work on Verizon’s 4G LTE network. The network-enabled version of the tablet did, in fact, have radios for Verizon, but Verizon refused to activate the device for those who bought it through the Google Play Store.

Nexus 7 2013 wall

Now that the heat is back on, it seems Big Red wants to lay it out there for good — it’s not their fault, so stop blaming them. They say it’s a “systems issue” that arose with Android 4.3, one that Verizon asked Google and ASUS to fix before they’d allow the device to be activated on their network. The problem is that Google and ASUS decided they wanted to wait until Android 4.4 KITKAT rolled out to issue the fix, according to a statement being sent to press:

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 probably won’t ever know what that “systems issue” was, of course, but it sounds like Verizon is in the clear on this one. So what does this mean for the Nexus 7? Well, it sounds like you’ll be able to get it activated… eventually. We still have to wait for KitKat to start rolling out, though there’s no telling how long it’ll take for Verizon to finish their testing process before opening activations again.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Go home Verizon, you’re drunk.

    1. I call this a big pile of BS. What system issue? My vzw G-Nexus works fine on 4.3

  2. I thought since it will only use LTE radios that it didn’t need to be “tested”. Am I missing something here?

    1. You would think that FCC testing would be enough for LTE-only devices, but Verizon has their own testing for that.

      1. Google Wallet probably works on it so that is a “system issue”

  3. The “system issue” is probably Verizon’s outdated, overpriced network. The beauty of Android is the ability to make it work on ANYTHING (just like Linux) its HIGHLY adaptable. They need to go pout in a corner somewhere far, far away.

  4. I’ll never go to a Verizon network unless paid by my company. I could care less :)
    Greedy Verizon just wants to sell the device through them, making people pay premium for the device + their overpriced wireless plan.

    1. I wouldn’t even use my phone even if the company was paying. Unless they paid for my data overages, because I’m MORE than sure I’d be hitting them. LoL!!

  5. Verizon will always hide behind the “reasonable network management” exception to the C Block regs. They’ve done it for bootloaders, rooting, tethering, Google Wallet…. That single exception swallows the entire rule.

    Even though the regs specifically state when a complainant states a prima facie case for the violation of the regulations, the carrier has to come forward with evidence that they are not violating the regs, the carriers (Verizon) always state it may affect their network performance and/or management.

    This would not be sufficient, in a court of law, to satisfy the burden placed on the carrier to rebut the prima facie evidence. This is tantamount the IRS issuing you a notice of deficiency that you owe taxes (prima facie evidence) and your response is “the law says I may not owe taxes, so I don’t” and providing no actual evidence. IRS wins, you lose. However, unlike the IRS, apparently the FCC isn’t concerned about pursuing what could be lucrative fines and penalties. I’ll go ahead and attribute that to the fact that the FCC has effectively been sold off the to the telecom industry over the last 20 or 30 years.

  6. Just go with GSM based providers….

  7. Every few months Verizon seems to have a weird, secret “issue” with a Nexus device.

    First the lack of Galaxy Nexus updates, then the blockage of Google Wallet, and now this.


  8. Even if it’s not vz’s fault, all the crummy stuff they did in the past catches up. So their soiled reputation is their own damn fault. If they start playing nicely with Google wallet and let nexus devices get updates through Google then people will not be as quick to point their fingers at vz. Until then deal with it.

    1. Don’t buy for a minute that it’s not Verizon’s fault. Remember, they were very clear why Google Wallet was blocked from their Samsung Galaxy Nexus. This explanation is too vague to vindicate them.

      1. Yeah, clear on a “reason” that they themselves passed for use on other devices than the VNex.

        The secure element was decided on, tested by, and authenticated by a GROUP of people. And VZW was in on it the entire time. Only when they decided to start their own payment system–Which is, where again?–did they start a hissy fit over Google having it.

        Verizon is the Republican of the networks. “If those other guys like it, NOPE! I don’t like it. Oh, it was my idea in the first place? NOPE! Still don’t like it. I never said that, and if I did that wasen’t supposed to be recorded.”

        So glad I am moving away from them. $30 T-mobile or Straight Talk, you are my NYE resolution.

  9. “In the clear”? Are you kidding me? The fact that you can take a pre-activated SIM and pop it in and it works just fine is proof enough that VZW’s story is complete horse crap. I got tired of eating the BS from Verizon.

    The fact that Verizon has their own direct-to-market budget 7″ tablet wouldn’t have ANYTHING TO DO with this decision now could it?

  10. The system issue is that they want their logo and bloat on everything

  11. My guess is that it had something to do with a capability the device has that Verizon doesn’t want it to have. It’s time to treat the carriers like the pipes that they are – they shouldn’t be messing directly with devices. Does your internet provider certify your home computer or tell you which computers you can connect to their network?

    1. How much you want to be it is Google Wallet?

  12. How much you wanna bet the “system issue” is related to this:

    1. If that were the case, they wouldn’t approve *any* pre-4.4 device. For that matter Verified Boot isn’t required for 4.4 either.

      1. True, but all Verizon versions of pre-4.4 devices have locked bootloaders.

        I have a hunch that their reasoning went something like this:

        Technologically Ignorant Verizon Bigwig 1: Google sells Nexus 7s with an unlocked bootloader… Its completely insecure! Anyone can make anyone’s tablet run whatever virus ROM they want! The hackers will destroy our network if we let them connect!

        Technologically Ignorant Verizon Bigwig 2: I heard 4.4 will have some sort of boot verifier. That means it will be totally secure! It will only run what WE want!

        Technologically Ignorant Verizon Bigwig 3: It is settled then! Wait for KitKat!

        Never mind that none of the above bigwigs have any understanding bootloaders, ROMs, Verified Boot, or any related concepts….

        A scarier possibility is that they DO intend to block modded Nexus 7s from connecting, but lack the ability to check and/or enforce this without Secure Boot enabled…

        1. The Nexus 7 will still have an unlockable bootloader when it’s been updated to KitKat. I don’t think there’s any way to block this, at least not after the device is activated. They can’t even prevent people from putting SIM cards activated in another device into a Nexus 7 and using it right now. They could certainly refuse to activate already unlocked devices though. Verizon does love their locked bootloaders, but there are unlockable developer versions of the GS4, HTC One, and Moto X for Verizon, so unlocked devices aren’t completely disallowed.

  13. Flat out lied…

  14. Quentyn, how can you say Verizon is in the clear? Maybe the “system issue” is not a product issue but a procedural issue. “System issue” mean nothing in itself. Perhaps Google releasing a device without Verizon getting to sell it is the “system issue”. After all, Verizon probably wants their cut of the sale. I imagine this saying it will be fixed in KitKat crap is just a way for Verizon save face. VERIZON IS EVIL!!!

    I am very disappointed that you let them off easy without anymore questioning.

    1. He was probably not trying to be biased. As a journalist, you can’t take sides, even though you know who’s clearly right and wrong.

      It’s a good way to write.

      1. No its not a good way to write.

      2. As a journalist, he should not just be accepting of their statement. It would be like journalists accepting that Nixon was not a crook just because he said he wasn’t.

        I at least expected him to pose questions. Verizon gave a very vague response.

  15. Why would you believe this? You can use any sim that is already activated and put it in the tablet and it works fine without issue on their network.

  16. No one in their right mind believes anything Verizon says.

    1. Except when they say they have the best coverage… =.[

  17. Thats weird!!! 4.3 works fine on Tmob, ATT, Sprint, AND EVERY OTHER NETWORK ON THE PLANET!!!!!!

    1. It works fine on Verizon too, as does the Nexus 7 LTE.

    2. 4.3 works fine on my vzw G-Nexus…

    3. The Nexus 7 2nd Gen works on Verizon just fine. There are unofficial ways to get it to work. People have also put other SIM cards in the device as well.

      This is why I don’t know what Verizon is doing.

  18. Judging by their track record of Constant letdowns…I’m gonna say Verizon is full of crap.

  19. Knowing Verizon, “systems issue” is likely some feature or ability that they don’t want their users to have. They are most certainly not “in the clear” with that worthless explanation. In fact, they would have done better to not say it at all.

  20. 100% Grade-A Bull-honkey. The only POSSIBLE way that this has any truth in it whatsoever is that the LTE radio firmware–which Google does NOT have control over, and what made JBQ leave Google and Android entirely–has some obscure and most likely never encountered by normal users bug in it. And since Verizon just gives it a big thumbs up or thumbs down if it can go on the network or not, Google would have to go back to Qualcomm to fix it… Only to have to go through the same song and dance when 4.4 was released.

    BUT! If there was an issue, Sprint would also have this issue.. And AT&T… And all the other LTE providers who I can’t begin to possibly name them all. Every. Single. One. of them passed the device. And yet, not VZW.

    I call the highest level of shenanigans.

    1. Telstra did the same thing in AU with the lumia 1020
      and it worked fine with network un-fixed.
      Telstra’s was probably their stupid add in apps that nobody wanted.
      verizons’ its probably some stupid non-standard tweak of their network that only delivers

      value to the providers and no difference for the consumer.

  21. Real bold journalism, there. Off the hook? Weak.

  22. So it still is Verizon’s problem. They will drag their ass on testing KitKat and that’s how they work.

  23. I don’t buy that for a nanosecond.
    Funny how people are putting a sim already activated in it and it works.
    Funny how it works on every other network.

    I would wait to see what Google says…. but something here is not right.

    1. Oh yea like I’m going to respect the opinion of a dude with a cat pic..

      1. But he said “nanosecond”. It’s funny because it’s exaggeratedly shorter than the amount of time humans can conscientiously notice.

      2. I have lots of respect for any cat that can post to Phandroid.

  24. Source link?

      1. Seriously???

        1. No, not seriously. You tried clicking on that link didn’t you? HAHAHA!!

          1. Nope… what part of asking for a source link makes me a “douche”? I want to read Verizon’s full statement, not just one sentence of it. I tried Googling, and only found one other article, which has more of the statement, but not all of it.

          2. I hate it when people tell you to Google something and you find like no answers.

            Then they get upset when you ask. Well someone has to ask so that when another person ask, the thread will show up.

          3. I just hate when people on forums tell you Google the answer to your question period.

            Half the time you Google your question, it just directs you to a forum where the same question was asked, but someone was actually nice enough to be of assistance

  25. Who would of thunk that Verizon makes AT&T look good?

  26. verizon sucks… no nexus for you!!!

  27. Being that the Nexus 7 works fine when insert your Verizon SIM does this mean we will be able to insert our Verizon SIM into the Nexus 5 since it has the required radio’s?

    I thought this was more of a “We are not going to sell or support the device on our network” issue. I’ve used my SIM in many devices that Verizon does not “support” and they work.

  28. I’m betting the conversation went something like this:
    Verizon:Hey Google, we’d love to activate your tablet on our network, but there’s this big problem. Can you fix it for us so our customers will be happy?
    Google:Go suck it. Everybody loves us and hates you. We ain’t fixing nothing. You’ll get all the blame and we’ll find ways to monetize that. Now go to the store and buy a couple million Kit Kats. We’re in bed with them now and need to find a way to monetize it.

    1. The joke would have been funnier if Google’s part wasn’t so long. LoL!!

    2. Probably more like:
      Verizon BDO: Hey Google we need to have all this “Verizon software” installed on the N7 before it can be certified on our system.
      Google: This is bloatware that will make it slower.
      Verizon BDO: Either you put them on or it doesn’t get certified.
      Google: It’s a Nexus device, we don’t allow that.
      Verizon BDO: Then you won’t get to be on our network then.
      Google: After the Galaxy Nexus fiasco we’re not interested. Thanks.

      Verizon BDO: That worked great. Now we can push out own tablet without worrying about Google competition. Now how to get the public on our side?
      Verizon PR: We’ll just tell people Google refused to fix a bug until the next OS release so we can’t certify it until after the holiday shopping season is over. Then it will be too late for Google.

  29. Verizon is the worst around in my area even tmo has better signal

  30. WTF!? That doesn’t make any sense to me. I wish we knew what this “system issue” was.

    I have never heard of a case where there was a software reason as to why a device isn’t connecting to a cellular network. That just doesn’t make any sense to me.

    1. Its called unrestricted tethering.

      1. On a shared data plan?

        1. Not everyone is on a shared data plan.

          1. The large majority of the people activating the Nexus 7 LTE would be.

    2. Its a “system issue” all right, Verizon’s entire mobile phone system. Sad, when FIOS is pretty darn awesome.

  31. Hmm. I wonder if the “system issue” is the fact they wanted to launch their own 7 inch Verizon branded LTE tablet?

    You know, that Ellipsis tablet with DAT BEZEL. Bleh.

  32. i smell BS. If this had worked out maybe we would see n5 on verizon. 4.3 issues my arse.

  33. Huh, so my Verizon GS3, rooted with an unlocked bootloader cannot run 4.3 on their network? Works fine vze, test complete. They are complete morons and do not know a thing about Android. Cannot wait to leave these guys for t-mo and the Nexus 5. Unbelievable.

    1. Another tard..

  34. But they updated the s4 to 4.3 on their network

  35. I blame Verizon for everything else

  36. What starts with “B” and ends with “S?” That’s right: Verizon.

  37. All updates and carrier updates should be handled by google

  38. Verizon can suck a Dyke.
    I’m tired of their lies…

  39. Yep, because google totally made sure 4.3 on the tablet would work on all carriers EXCEPT Verizon, because that would make the most sense…… /sarcasmoff

  40. Verizon sure does like to blame others for all their issues dont they ?

  41. Quentyn,

    You are so gullible. Verizon is not in the clear. If you believe that, I’ve got a bridge to sell you.

  42. Quentyn,
    How Phandroid let a guy like this write an article? I have a friend with a verizon tablet put his sim card in the Nexus 7 and it works without any problems. Do your research before writing dumb stuff.

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