The Google Phone's Alter Ego: A Lame Christmas Bonus

Illustration for article titled The Google Phones Alter Ego: A Lame Christmas Bonus

The quasi-mythical Google Phone is many things. To optimists, it's Google's bid to shake up the wireless industry. To cynics, it's just an overhyped Android phone. And to some Googlers, it's apparently this year's Christmas bonus. They're less than thrilled.

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Earlier today we got a tip from reader whose buddy was one of the selected recipients of Google's Nexus One Android phone. Google has admitted to "dogfooding" a phone—that is, testing it on its employees—so we expected reports like this. What we didn't expect, though, was his friend's response:

Two problems, however: first, the phone is GSM only, so he's not happy about that. Second, this phone is HIS BONUS for this year. His usual bonus is $1K in cash, taxes paid by Google.

SO according to him the phone is just going to sit, unused, in a drawer in his apartment. Hoo...ray?

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Complaining about getting a free phone might seem sour at this proud time in our nation's economic history, but if you're accustomed to getting cash—you know, money, that you can spend on things you might need—instead of a niche smartphone that you probably can't even use properly on your carrier, I can understand the bitterness. And what kind of Googler doesn't already have a smartphone? Didn't they all get Android handsets back in 2008, when Google pulled a nearly identical bonus stunt with the HTC Dream? People loved that! —Thanks, AndPreciousLittleofThat!

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DISCUSSION

"But hey, guys, you'd buy a new phone once a year anyway, right? And since they're unlocked, you can put 'em on any network's monthly plan - well, some of them - and over the course of a year, save hundreds more dollars, right?

"So that's like a thousand dollar bonus, right? Sort of? Right? C'mon, guys, it's Christmas! Conditional bonuses paid in installments with a small company overhead! That's the Google... hey, sorry everyone, I meant it's the holidays, of course.

"Just remember to file your testing reports Monday morning, okay? And we'll - hey guys, guys! Slow down here! Let's Do No Evil, okay? I got a phone too, you know."