Google stuffs staffers' stockings with the G1

The search giant is playing Santa for its employees this year, giving them an HTC Dream, or G1 smartphone running its Android mobile operating system, as a holiday gift.

Google's gift to staffers: the HTC Dream, or G1, smartphone. James Martin/CNET Networks

Google Australia employees--and those in many other countries--received an HTC Dream Android phone as a holiday gift.

"We've never developed anything like the Android software before, so this represented a unique opportunity to celebrate that achievement," a Google representative told ZDNet Australia on Monday.

Apart from spreading holiday cheer, having all the employees using the phone would help make Android better, the representative added. "Giving the Dream phone to Googlers also allows us to once again dog-food a product and make it even better."

Other Australians won't have to wait long for their own Android phone, with the Agora from Kogan Technologies set to hit Australia on January 29.

Those wanting the HTC Dream will have to wait, however. There are still no official plans yet as to when the Dream will come Down Under, a representative for the handset manufacturer said Monday.

Suzanne Tindal of ZDNet Australia reported from Sydney.

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