Google reveals KitKat as name for new Android system

By on September 4, 2013

The search giant has revealed the name of its Android update to the surprise of many

It’s hardly show stopping news, but tech pundits the world over are still reeling from the shock of Google’s latest Android naming. The search giant revealed KitKat as the latest moniker for its Android operating system, going against commentators expectations it would be Key Lime Pie.

According to reports, Google had been in secrets talks with Nestle over the tie-up since last November, and managed to keep it under wraps, despite Nestle starting production of some 50 million chocolate bars carrying the Android character.

The decision to use the KitKat name isn’t anything to do with payment from either party though; Google has insisted no money will change hands, the Googlers simply like KitKats. ‘We realised that very few people actually know the taste of a key lime pie,’ explained John Lagerling, director of Android global partnerships.

‘One of the snacks that we keep in our kitchen for late-night coding are KitKats. And someone said: “Hey, why don’t we call the release KitKat?”’

‘We didn’t even know which company controlled the name, and we thought that [the choice] would be difficult. But then we thought well why not, and we decided to reach out to the Nestle folks.’

Fancy that. It isn’t too much of a departure from Android’s usual names though – the operating systems are always named after calorific treats. We’ve had Cupcake, Jelly Bean, Ice-Cream Sandwich and Donut – to name a few. But it is the first time Google has used a brand in its naming – leading to suspicions it’s a marketing wheeze. But we’re chuffed it’s a British classic – KitKats can be traced through British history as far back as 1911.

But some commentators have warned the tie-up could cause problems for the brands, if something goes wrong for either. Nestle has famously been in trouble a number of times over its promotion of powdered baby milk in the developing world and has had to recall a number of products.

Meanwhile, Android has recently been accused of attracting more malware attacks than any other operating system…by a country mile. But the marketing wonks at Nestle seem unfazed. ‘Very frankly, we decided within an hour to say let’s do it,’ Patrice Bula, Nestle’s marketing chief told the BBC.

‘Maybe I’ll be fired. When you try to lead a new way of communicating and profiling a brand you always have a higher risk than doing something much more traditional. You can go round the swimming pool 10 times wondering if the water is cold or hot or you say: “Let’s jump.”’
And jump he has. The newly branded Android KitKats are set to be shipped to 19 different markets including the UK, US, Japan and Russia. Let’s just hope the new system isn’t full of bugs and prone to breakage. KitKats old motto, ‘have a break, have a KitKat,’ may come back to bite them both in the ass.

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