Android 4.4 system named 'KitKat'

Sep 03, 2013 by Mae Anderson
This undated product image provided by The Hershey Company shows the new Kit Kat label for The Hershey Company featuring Android's green robot mascot breaking a Kit Kat. Google is naming its new Android operating system after the chocolate bar. The Android 4.4 KitKat system is expected to launch in October 2013. (AP Photo/The Hershey Company).

Google, which is known for nick-naming its Android mobile operating systems for smartphones and tablets after desserts, has chosen a brand-name candy for its 4.4 version that's expected to launch this fall: Kit Kat.

Financial terms weren't disclosed for the sweet deal between Google and Hershey Co., which makes Kit Kat. But the deal shows that naming a stadium or sponsoring a TV show can be seen as old school. The latest marketing craze may be to slap a on a tech product.

Google approached Hershey about six to nine months ago for permission to use the name, said Jennifer Podhajsky, vice president of U.S. chocolate at Hershey, which licenses the Kit Kat brand in the U.S., while Nestle owns the worldwide brand.

Podhajsky said that Kit Kat's jingle is a good fit for people taking a break to look at their smartphones or tablets. She added that the deal appeals to Hershey because Android hits the sweet spot of Kit Kat eaters, who are typically between the ages of 18 and 34.

"Kit Kat consumers are young, vibrant consumers of candy and chocolate bars, and that's a nice match with Android," Podhajsky said.

The Kit Kat name was unexpected since tech pundits have speculated for months that the next would be called Key Lime Pie. Marc Vanlerberghe, director of Android Marketing, said the name was chosen because Kit Kat bars have been a "favorite go-to snack among the team since the early days of Android."

The Android 4.4 Kit Kat system is expected to launch in October. The software is now running on more than 750 million smartphones and tablets throughout the world, making it the world's most widely used mobile operating system.

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