So once again an OEM is getting in the way, or trying to, of new innovation. This time we pit Verizon and Google. Google, the maker of Android, which Verizon profits from quite supremely.
For the back story, we visit Google’s attempts to develop a payment app that ties into their struggling Google Checkout for online payment (rival: Paypal). Google Wallet is the app that you can use, through NFC-Near Field Communication, to tap a register device and pay with your pre-entered debit/credit cards and accounts. Sounds great. My favorite convenience store, Sheetz, was one of the first to allow for Google Wallet.
So the dilemma begins with phones capable of NFC. Which was zero. Then Google’s Nexus line came out with the Galaxy Nexus from Samsung on Verizon (and hopefully others, soon!). The Nexus line, which is supposed to be a bland, developers’ line void of any OEM add on bloatware would not come with Google Wallet. It seems Verizon, along with others, were working on their own NFC app. Hmmm…so they really are not selling a Nexus then, right?
So after all the hubbub got out to the internet, Verizon issued this statement:
“Statement from Jeffrey Nelson, spokesperson for Verizon:
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.”
So they were/are worried about security. Nice of them, right? WRONG! They were not worried about it when developing their own NFC competitor, and now with the bad press, they changed their story. Seems like that happens more and more with companies, and we can thank the internet for that.
On a related note, the recently announced Sprint Galaxy Nexus (of which I am on Sprint) will allow Google Wallet. Apparently Sprint did not create any partnerships to go around Google Wallet. Good on Sprint!
The moral of the story, especially for educators, is use the internet to keep politicians, businesses, and people honest. Do not let the go through and change things to meet their bottom line if it goes against common sense or their original stories.