The Verizon-branded Galaxy Nexus can do a lot of things, but one thing it apparently won't offer is Google Wallet. According to Computer World, Google has confirmed that Samsung's latest flagship handset won't support its mobile payment app, largely because Verizon doesn't want it to. An earlier report from 9to5Google speculates that Big Red may have chosen to block Google Wallet because of Isis -- a competing mobile payment system that Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile have already invested in. Despite the absence of Wallet, however, both Computer World and 9to5Google insist that VZW's Galaxy Nexus will still be a "pure Google phone," insofar as it will receive software updates directly from Google, rather than the carrier. We've reached out to both Google and Verizon for comment, and will update this post as soon as we hear back.
Update: Verizon responds to the brouhaha with the following statement.
We're working to provide expanded services that will provide the best security and user experience in the market around m-commerce. We expect to provide access to an open wallet when those goals are achieved.
Update 2: Responding to accusations that the carrier would block the Google Wallet app, Verizon says it's not that simple.
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.
*Verizon is currently in the process of acquiring AOL, Engadget's parent company. However, Engadget maintains full editorial control, and Verizon will have to pry it from our cold, dead hands.