First, Microsoft and Nokia. Then, Apple sending out its iPhone 5S invites. And now, just in case you hadn’t had enough, Google announcing that the next iteration of Android (version 4.4) will be known as Android KitKat, not Key Lime Pie.
The news comes as a surprise as the firm had previously indicated version 4.4 of the OS would be Key Lime Pie.
The decision to brand the software with the name of Nestle’s chocolate bar is likely to be seen as a marketing coup for the Swiss food and beverage maker.
The idea was apparently bounced around in the Google office in late November last year, but was finalised only during the Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona in February. “We decided within the hour to say let’s do it,” said Executive Vice President of Marketing for Nestle, Patrice Bula.
It’s no secret that Google has a sweet tooth when it comes to Android. Named after desserts, candies and all things sweet, the company named the previous versions of OS with mouthwatering delicacies. From FroYo to Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean and even Donut and Éclair, Android versions have been referred to these names rather than their version number forever.
However, this is the first time a marketing deal has been struck with a chocolate company in a sort of a cross-branding move. KitKat is one of the most widely sold chocolate bars in the world, including India. Keeping this in mind, Google and Nestle are thinking up campaigns to promote the version. 50 million KitKat bars in 19 countries are all set to have Android wrapping and a chance to score some Android goodies like Nexus 7 tablets and Google Play gift cards.
There’s yet another tit-bit about why KitKat, of all chocolates, was chosen to be the face of Android. Legend has it that Android’s Engineering Head Hiroshi Lockheimer is crazy about KitKats. His Gmail avatar was a KitKat bar for the longest time and the team once even decorated his office with bars of KitKat.
Here’s the list of past Android versions with the dessert naming scheme:
Android 1.5: Cupcake
Android 1.6: Donut
Android 2.0: Eclair
Android 2.2: Froyo
Android 2.3: Gingerbread
Android 3.0: Honeycomb
Android 4.0: Ice Cream Sandwich
Android 4.1: Jelly Bean
Android 4.2: Jelly Bean
Android 4.3: Jelly Bean
Android 4.4: KitKat