By Alexandra Burlacu | Sep 18, 2012 10:58 AM EDT
After news that Microsoft will treat its employees to freebies, Yahoo! is also taking a turn at pampering its workforce. As part of a new program called "Yahoo! Smart Phones, Smart Fun!" new Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer will be offering a free Apple, Samsung, Nokia, or HTC smartphone to each of the company's employees. The choice of smartphones includes the latest and hottest handsets on the market, but BlackBerry is out of the question.
According to an internal memo obtained and published by Business Insider, "received from one source and confirmed with another," Yahoo employees will have a choice of the most popular, most-touted devices: Apple's iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S3, HTC One X, HTC EVO 4G LTE, or the Windows Phone 8 smartphone Nokia Lumia 920.
In addition to a free smartphone with data and phone bills taken care of, Yahoo employees may also benefit from other perks as well, depending on what smartphone they choose. Nokia's media relations head Doug Dawson, for instance, announced on Twitter that Nokia will offer a free charging plate to any Yahoo employee who chooses the new Lumia 920.
"Dear Yahoo! employees: The Lumia 920 is worth the wait...and we'll throw in a wireless charging plate. Totally serious," tweeted Dawson.
While choosing market leaders iOS and Android comes as no great surprise, Yahoo's choice to include Windows Phone and exclude RIM suggests the company sees BlackBerry as more or less obsolete. Yahoo will reportedly be paying its employees' data and phone bills as well. As for its relationship with RIM, the company will soon discontinue IT support for BlackBerry phones.
"Yahoo is moving off of Blackberries as our corporate phones and on to smartphones in 22 countries," reads the memo, basically hinting that BlackBerry devices are not smartphones.
According to the internal memo, the move aims to have Yahoo employees use the phones that Yahoo users are using, in order to better understand how it all works.
"We'd like our employees to have devices similar to our users, so we can think and work as the majority of our users do."
The program will undoubtedly cost Yahoo a few million dollars, but in turn the company expects to have a more informed and motivated workforce. The current Yahoo program seems to be limited to employees in the U.S. for now, but it will likely apply to other countries later. Which of the five smartphones would you choose?
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