Next Android OS to be called KitKat.

Google has announced that it will be naming the next version of its Android OS after a commercial brand of chocolate bar. Although previous versions of the Android OS have been named after sweets, they have been generic terms, such as Gingerbread, Ice Cream Sandwich or Jelly Bean.

The next iteration of the OS is however being called KitKat, which is a specific brand of chocolate bar — which is particularly popular in the UK.

The move will be seen as a marketing coup for Nestle, which owns the KitKat brand, although Google says that the decision came from within its company, and it isn’t paying to license the famous brandname.

“This is not a money-changing-hands kind of deal,” John Lagerling, director of Android global partnerships, told the BBC. Instead, he said, the idea was to do something “fun and unexpected”.

Lagerling said that they had been using the name as a joke internally during the OS development, then thought it might be worth reaching out to the chocolate company and see if the name could be used.

“Very frankly, we decided within an hour to say let’s do it,” Patrice Bula, Nestle’s marketing chief told the BBC. Nestle owns the trademark, although it is used under license by Hershey within the USA.

The details were later agreed on earlier this year at the Mobile World Congress, but kept secret until a giant Android icon made from a KitKat bar was unveiled outside the company’s head office.

Christopher Macgowan
twitter: chrismacgowan

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