Google Plays Grinch, Hands Out G-phones

Expect to Find a Glut of Handsets on eBay

By Published on .

Google drones are used to some pretty outstanding perks: free gourmet cafeterias; haircuts; on-site car washes; and, of course, a healthy five-figure holiday bonus. But that last bit has gone the way of Google's appreciating stock.

According to a memo obtained by Valleywag, and fitting with the times, Googlers are getting an unlocked Android-powered phone, known as the G1 when sold by T-Mobile, a device almost as cool and useful as the iPhone most Googlers no doubt already carry.

Now that's a nice gift by most standards, but this is Google, so expect some whining and for a glutted market of unlocked G-phones (for those not in the know: Unlocked phones can be used with the network provider of your choice). Of course, Google couldn't swing an unlocked G1 for employees in all territories, so employees in India, China, Brazil, Korea, Israel, Russia, Argentina, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Mexico, Turkey, Kenya, United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Egypt, Chile, and the Ukraine get $400 cash.

Unlocked G1s are currently listing for $255 and $549 on eBay. The phone retails at T-Mobile for $179.99 with a two-year contract.

Here's the memo, as posted on Valleywag.

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