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Verizon Kills Google Wallet on Its Best Android Phone

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While Verizon customers were lucky to escape the Carrier IQ foul-up that plagued users on other carriers, Big Red still managed to screw over future owners of what's already dubbed the best Android phone yet. Despite the Galaxy Nexus' purported "pure Android experience" running Ice Cream Sandwich and receiving OTA updates directly from Google, Verizon couldn't help but keep its greasy mitts off the celebrated gadget and kill a much-anticipated feature.

Even though the Galaxy Nexus will come sporting an NFC chip, Computerworld confirmed that Verizon has removed its ability to work with Google Wallet.

Described as the future of mobile payments, Google Wallet allows users with compatible devices to pay with a swipe at a supported kiosk via near-field communication. The transaction is recorded on the smartphone and automatically deducted from the linked account. Already supported on Galaxy Nexus' predecessor, the Nexus S on Sprint, the upcoming entry in Samsung's Nexus line won't be able to work with Google Wallet.

Thanks to Verizon.

The reason behind the move is likely due to the carrier's involvement with a competing mobile payment system called ISIS. Partnered with carriers AT&T and T-Mobile and credit giants Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover, ISIS is expected to debut some time next year. Meanwhile, Google Wallet is already in stores with support from Sprint and MasterCard.

But given Verizon's decision to keep it from the Galaxy Nexus, it's unlikely any of its NFC-enabled devices will support Google Wallet any time soon.

A spokesperson for the company released this 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."

In other words, as soon as ISIS rolls out.

Along with loading its bloatware apps onto the device, Verizon is making its middleman presence known on the Galaxy Nexus. Even if ISIS is leagues ahead of Google Wallet, the carrier is denying users Google Wallet's current availability as well as the pure Android experience promised -- but rarely delivered -- for so long.

(See also: Syria Bans iPhones to Prevent Citizen Journalism and Google Engineer Calls Google+ a Complete Failure)

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