Update 2: Google has reached out again to say that it incorrectly responded to our initial request for comment — this has nothing to do with Google Wallet, and furthermore, the company will continue to support the Verizon Galaxy Nexus through official firmware updates. Disaster averted.
Google has seemingly eliminated the Verizon version of the Galaxy Nexus from the company's internally-supported "Nexus" program — a series of devices designed to showcase new versions of stock Android and give developers access to pure, stable, unmodified platforms. If you look at the Android Open Source Project's list of products for which Android can be directly compiled, the phone (model codename "toro") is now missing, and a look at Google's list of downloadable factory ROM images lists toro's files as "archived, for reference only." A growing rift between Google and Verizon over Google Wallet may be to blame for the move: GSM models of the Galaxy Nexus (and Nexus S) with AT&T SIMs just gained access to the Wallet app this week, while Verizon has been posturing for weeks, and all indications are that the carrier is solely responsible for blocking it. For a "Nexus" class device — pure, stock, and blessed directly by Google — you can imagine that wouldn't go over very well. We asked Google what its relationship was with the Verizon Galaxy Nexus at the moment — without mentioning Google Wallet — and got this response, which would certainly seem to confirm that Wallet is the point of contention:
Every day, Android developers openly distribute applications via Android Market. Google is also a developer within this ecosystem and we want to offer the apps we develop such as Google Wallet, so people have access to the full range of functionality offered by the platform. Pending a reversal by Verizon, then, it would appear that Verizon and Samsung are now solely responsible for their version of the Galaxy Nexus going forward — firmware updates won't be pushed by Google (or if they are, it seemingly won't be without Verizon intervention), and the device isn't officially supported by Google for Android development. That's not good.
Update: Google points out that it has removed CDMA devices from some of its developer support pages because not all features are fully supported — it explains here. Of course, that doesn't explain why it responded to our question with a quote about the availability of Google Wallet.
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