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Why Google has called Android 4.4 'KitKat' - and why it is better for Nestle than Google

Chris Martin | Sept. 5, 2013
Android KitKat: co-branding masterpiece or marketing disaster?

Android KitKat Statue

In bizarre circumstances, Google has announced that the next version of Android will be called KitKat and not Key Lime Pie as was previously thought.

The internet search giant usually names its mobile operating system versions in alphabetical order using a general name for a treat or desert rather than a brand name. One example is Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. However, instead of the expected Key Lime Pie, the next Android will be named after Nestle's popular KitKat chocolate bar. 

Google said: "As everybody finds it difficult to stay away from chocolate, we decided to name the next version of Android after one of our favourite chocolate-covered treats, KitKat!"

Android 4.4 KitKat: Google's explanation
If, like us, you're wondering why the makers of a mobile operating system with more than 1 billion activations would need to pull a stunt like this, then you're not alone. It might make some sense if money had changed hands... but apparently not. "This is not a money-changing-hands kind of deal," John Lagerling, director of Android global partnerships, told the BBC.

Instead, the firm simply wanted to do something "fun and unexpected".

Okay, KitKat is globally a more widely known name and brand compared to Key Lime Pie, but does it matter? What does this mean for Android and KitKat?

Android 4.4 KitKat: Won't be the next major version of Android
It was widely thought that Key Lime Pie would be version 5.0 of Android and a significant update to the operating system but Google has confirmed that KitKat will be 4.4 following on from 4.3 Jelly Bean.

This suggests it will be a smaller update not worthy of a new shiny new version number. Since details on the new features are unavailable at the moment, we'll have to wait and see.

Android 4.4 KitKat: A massive marketing opportunity for Nestle
Since no money was involved in the deal, it seems that Nestle is the big winner here. Android is the number one mobile operating system in the world and clearly doesn't need any help with awareness. It might make a little bit more sense for a new starter to partner with an existing and well-known brand to put itself out there in the public's consciousness.

So, Nestle is the clear winner in the deal giving it the opportunity to use the Android branding and mascot to shift more sticks of chocolate. See below.

"To make this release even sweeter, KitKat is giving you the chance to win a Nexus 7 or Google Play credit. Just look for specially branded KitKat chocolate bars featuring the Android robot in a shop near you." said Google.

 

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