Verizon is blocking Google from the carrier’s version of the Galaxy Nexus, set to be released next week in US. Although Google assisted Samsung in the phone’s development, the search engine giant’s mobile payment system will not be functional on Verizon’s version of the phone, at Verizon’s request.
The news was not well received by Android fans. They had hoped to see the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, the first smartphone released with Ice Cream 4.0, released onto the market with full functionality.
A representative of Google revealed to CNET that Verizon requested the feature be disabled in the product. However, whether this request is related to Isis, a joint venture between Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile USA, and AT&T, or not is still mere speculation. The trio of carriers announced Isis last Summer as their new mobile payments company, but Google beat them to the punch.
In September, Google launched their Google Wallet ahead of many other companies who are attempting to enter the niche. With any Android phone that has NFC (near-field communications) capabilities either a swipe or a tap will allow the user to purchase whatever they wish. Sprint is alone among the carriers, as the only one offering Google Wallet enabled phone service. This is due solely to its offering of the Nexus S 4G, though it is expected that many other carriers will jump on the band wagon soon with alternative NFC phones.
Isis is taking a different path from Google Wallet. It will be a platform neutral solution that provides the framework for third parties to hook up their services modules, whether payment networks, retailers, or credit card issuers. A sharp selling point in contrast with Google’s nefarious operations, regardless of product, is that Isis does not access any of the user’s data to achieve its purpose. Isis is set to launch in 2012.
Verizon has injected it’s own bloatware into the Verizon Galaxy Nexus. While this assuredly annoying, Ice Cream permits you to shelf the apps, through disabling and hiding them. Verizon appears to leave this tasty functionality intact, thank God.
Trials for Isis will hit Austin and Salt Lake City first. Phone owners would be set up with the same line of credit as with their credit card. Isis revealed, in July, its plans to forge strong relationships with the big four: MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and Discover. However, not details were offered.
The big four credit card companies do already have their own software packages, typically used only on chip embedded cards. Isis’ aspirations are a wider acceptance of their product with the signing of the big four for POS purchases. Isis must also establish working relationships with the banks behind the cards. They began work with Barclays, but have since clarified that they will be working with other banks as well.
Visa expects to license its own software, called PayWave, on smartphones loaded with Isis. PayWave uses EMV (Europay MasterCard Visa)-level security, which Is called the tightest payment security.
If Verizon, as a partner in Isis, really has confidence in their contracting with the big four, then Google Wallet should be a small fish to them. They should have no concern over its presence on their version of Galaxy Nexus.