updated 05:30 pm EST, Fri February 3, 2012
Galaxy Nexus on Verizon, Nexus S 4G degraded
(Update: Google follow-up An investigation into Google's supported device has revealed that Google has quietly demoted the CDMA version of the Galaxy Nexus. The Verizon model, and possibly the upcoming Sprint version, aren't listed anymore as supported hardware, Droid-Life said. Google now claims "no CDMA devices are supported" and has also pulled the Nexus S 4G and Verizon-edition Motorola Xoom from the list.
The statements came in contradiction of Google actively supporting the CDMA versions. Even the stock firmware versions of the Galaxy Nexus were now "for reference only" and no longer being updated.
Dan Morrill of Google claimed it was an inherent issue with CDMA devices at present, where signing keys for apps on CDMA devices wouldn't line up with the open-source versions of Android. Closed-source code would still be available. "We've simply updated the documentation to be clearer about the current extent of CDMA support," he said.
However, a Google spokesperson in a conversation with The Verge ended up confirming that it was Verizon's decision to block Google Wallet that prompted the move. Verizon was limiting the functionality of what was supposed to be a stock phone, Google strongly implied.
"Every day, Android developers openly distribute applications via Android Market," Google said. "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."
Verizon has tried to deny that it was blocking the app, but it has euphemistically described itself doing just this by having Google Wallet hidden to those on the Verizon network.
The move leaves just the HSPA versions of the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S, and Xoom as active, modern Android devices with Google's full blessing. While CDMA devices may still get updates roughly as quickly, they won't have a similar guarantee and won't get Google's full help.
Update:Google later followed up and said it wasn't blaming the absence of Google Wallet. It would continue to actively support the Galaxy Nexus through updates.