Google shares the holiday spirit with employees

The end of the year is near, and the holiday season is just about to start. For hundreds of thousands of people, it's time for that yearly bonus. Search engine giant Google has taken a different initiative this year and has decided not to give cash bonuses to its employees. Instead they've decided to give their employees the T-Mobile G1, announced in an email to employees.

"The holiday bonus is a Google tradition - it's a great way to thank everyone for their hard work. In the past, we've done this in cash. This year, we've decided to give Googlers a different kind of present - a Dream phone (this is the same device T-Mobile markets as the G1). We're really excited about getting the phone to more Googlers in more countries, and also seeing all the cool new things you do with it. Shipping these special edition phones in such a short time frame (they were designed especially for Googlers with a 'droid' on the back) and making sure they would work anywhere in the world was no small feat. So a big thank you to the Android and Legal teams for making this happen (Kent is now an expert on customs law globally). While these phones do not have SIM cards, they are unlocked so they can be used with the network provider of your choice. Plus - thanks to more fancy footwork from the Android team - they'll work immediately as WiFi devices! "

The smart phone is the first phone in Google's mobile platform. The G1 features 36 support, GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and a full QWERTY keyboard. It also features the Google Android operating system that has excellent integration with Google's applications and services.

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The Financial Times has an updated article. It says that employee working in countries where the G1 cannot be used will get $400. I doubt the phone cost $400 to make. Here is the link if anyone is interested: FT.com

I got a box of chocolates from my boss. Sure, a cash bonus would've been great, but he is paying me good money, supplied me with a laptop that and also pays for said laptop's wireless broadband, even though I work from home, so no complaints here

Wow, what did their employees do to deserve that? Thank God for eBay - the bonus "crap-to-cash" converter!

With companies slashing jobs left and right, hundreds at a time, I believe people will be happy with whatever type of bonus they receive this year. I don't believe giving a bonus to employees is a requirement.

I like how Google are trying to make this sound OK and better than a standard 'boring' cash bonus...

Yeah right Google! :P

How can people be negative about this? It's obvious that companies are struggling and they did what they could. Me? I survived layoffs and got a 10% pay cut. We must have a bunch of unemployed high schoolers here or something.

Google is not struggling compared to most. They are still one of the top money makers in the US. If the executives got this as their bonus as well, then I would not have as much of an issue. However, they will not disclose what the execs received.

"While these phones do not have SIM cards, they are unlocked so they can be used with the network provider of your choice."

BTW an unsubsidized (unlocked) G1 can be found on ebay up to $500.

I also agree with some people here, there are more important expenses other than cellphones.

bolix said,
"While these phones do not have SIM cards, they are unlocked so they can be used with the network provider of your choice."

BTW an unsubsidized (unlocked) G1 can be found on ebay up to $500.

I also agree with some people here, there are more important expenses other than cellphones.


Hmmm...I'm not sure whether you missed my point or not, so let me put it in a slightly different way:

I don't have a cellphone right now, never have, and probably never will. If I was given this "bonus", then if I actually wanted to use it, I'd now have to pay a monthly bill that I didn't have before.

Do people give cable/satellite TV receivers for Christmas--especially to those who don't even have a subscription to begin with?

_dandy_ said,


Hmmm...I'm not sure whether you missed my point or not, so let me put it in a slightly different way:

I don't have a cellphone right now, never have, and probably never will. If I was given this "bonus", then if I actually wanted to use it, I'd now have to pay a monthly bill that I didn't have before.

Do people give cable/satellite TV receivers for Christmas--especially to those who don't even have a subscription to begin with?


Good point, but in reality I'd almost guarantee that close to all Google employees own cell phones. I mean they are working for a huge Internet search company. And for those who don't use it, or can't use it they are receiving a cash bonus around $400 according to sources. And even if they live in a country that is able to use the phone, and they have/don't have a cell phone, they can always sell it for about $500 on eBay.

Everyone should be thankful they actually recieved a bonus this year.

ncc50446 said,
Better than my Christmas bonus. I got laid off with only a few days notice.

sorry to hear that man, i got no bonus but am happy to keep my job. this economy sucks.

I'm usually one to let neowin articles slide with the grammar/spelling but this article is pathetic. "36 support"? You don't need to be a scholar to know that you should be able to read whoever's handwriting you're copying first.

^ I agree.

I can't stand the whole "Christmas Bonus" thing. I go to work, I get paid for it - that is my motivation for going. Bonuses are a waste of good company money which could be put to something more useful for the long term.

Mr Spoon said,
^ I agree.

I can't stand the whole "Christmas Bonus" thing. I go to work, I get paid for it - that is my motivation for going. Bonuses are a waste of good company money which could be put to something more useful for the long term.


what u smoking lol/

Oh boy my Christmas bonus sure is going to be awesome. Last year is was $35 as a check fr only shopping at the grocery store that I work at, lol.

I agree with My Spoon, I don't see the big deal with the whole "Christmas Bonus" thing either. My work doesn't do that anyway, the only "bonuses" we get are we might keep our sanity at the end of each day plus we get Christmas off as well, that *might* have something to do with it also :P

funkymunky said,
Talk about ungrateful guys.... :(

It's not a right to get a Crimbo bonus, at least they're getting something.

it's not law to be polite either...

or... let me put it this way: some may depend on the extra cash... some may have planned to spend money, or already did, that they now don't receive.

Glassed Silver:mac

Sophism said,
Man I would be pretty ****ed tbh. This doesnt sound like the google I know :(

Which Google do you know?

Sounds exactly like the one I know.

Personally.
I'd throw the phone right back at the person that handed it to me. Google has not been hit hard by any financial crisis and in fact was among the best money makers of 2008.

I can GUARANTEE the big wigs got cash and a lot of it!!

I guess with the "finance crisis" and all going on the options were "Cash Bonus and Fired after Christmas" or "a phone".

that sucks some people count on their yearly bonus for the holidays. Instead you get a phone that really is not that cool

Yea, I know that if I was going to get a Christmas bonus (or is it end-of-year bonus?) I would prefer it to be in cash, certainly not in the form of a phone, no matter how good that phone was.

Nice google but I got a very nice cash bonus and I think in these hard times the employees would liked that more

It's not a custom phone. It's a regular dev phone which go for 400USD. Maybe something's different (like the box), but I wouldn't know. There is one problem. I got a mini-usb charger with mine, even though the G1 doesn't have a mini-usb port (D'oh!!)

EDIT: I fail. A mini-usb plug will fit into the G1's port, even though the port is shaped slightly differently.

For the techy geek it seems nice... but really? how much they actually cost to google? 50usd? a 50usd Christmas bonus? how much was their bonus in cash last year?