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Apple continues to sit on the sidelines of the mobile wallet initiative, but that isn't stopping the carriers from banding together in an effort to knock aside any momentum Google Wallet may have picked up thus far.
AT&T announced last Thursday that 19 different Android smartphones offered by the carrier are now available as part of the nationwide Isis Mobile Wallet launch, which couples a secure element SIM card with NFC and a free Google Play app.
If that sounds more complicated than Google Wallet, it is, but Isis has been in the planning for quite some time, with field tests conducted at a few locations around the United States in recent months. At long last, Isis is ready to come shuffling out of her tomb and help Android users pay for their purchases without plastic cards.
Isis is backed by T-Mobile US and Verizon Wireless as well as AT&T, who collectively offer more than 40 supported smartphones, according to TechCrunch. The service also has the backing of Chase and American Express, but Barclayscard and Discover are also apparently on board, but keeping quiet about their involvement for whatever reason.
Retailer support for Isis is now available at AT&T stores as well as Toys R Us, Jamba Juice and select Coca-Cola vending machines, but TechCrunch noted a number of others including American Eagle Outfitters, Urban Outfitters, Duane Reade, CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Office Depot, RadioShack, BP, Hess, and Sunoco gas stations.
The real question is, what about iPhone support? Given the fact that Isis requires two hardware-specific elements as well as the app and an active internet connection, Apple's handset appears capable of all but one: An NFC chip, which Cupertino has thus far avoided entirely.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter