Fandroids are waiting to pounce on the Galaxy Nexus for Verizon Wireless, but the device apparently won't support Google Wallet at launch. Why? The carrier has issued a statement explaining why the company has chosen to block the mobile payment app. Verizon seems to be questioning the security of Google Wallet while buying time for its own payment solution. (Update: Verizon now says it's not blocking Google Wallet and is working with Google on the issue. See full statement below.)
While disappointing, the news doesn't necessarily come as a surprise. Verizon is one of the premier partners for the forthcoming NFC payment system called Isis, slated to launch in mid-2012. Big Red has already invested in the competing mobile payment system along with AT&T and T-Mobile, which employs the same Near Field Communication (NFC) technology as Wallet. Given that Verizon is the largest U.S. carrier, which would have brought 107 million subscribers to Google Wallet, the news could spell trouble for the search giant.
Reading into Verizon's statement, it looks like Verizon believes that Google Wallet is not secure enough a solution for its customers, but we're waiting for clarification.
The Galaxy Nexus will reportedly cost $299 on a two-year contract with Verizon. There is no official word on a launch date as of yet, but the phone is expected to land in the market sometime this month.
Update: Verizon has issued another statement about Google Wallet, which keeps the door open for Google Wallet showing up on Verizon devices eventually, if not the Galaxy Nexus.