Internet giant Google, known for nicknaming new releases of its Android mobile operating systems after desserts, has for the first time chosen a brand-name candy for its latest version, expected to launch this fall.
Previous Android OS nicknames
- 2008: Android 1.0 – no nickname
- 2009: Android 1.1 – no nickname
- Android 1.5 – Cupcake
- Android 1.6 – Donut
- Android 2.0 – Eclair
- 2010: Android 2.2 – Froyo
- Android 2.3 – Gingerbread
- 2011: Android 3.0 – Honeycomb
- Android 4.0 – Ice Cream Sandwich
- 2012: Android 4.1 – Jelly Bean
Android 4.4 is being called Kit Kat, the chocolate candy bar with the well-known "Gimme a Break" jingle. Kit Kat packaging will show Android's green robot mascot breaking a Kit Kat bar.
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 is becoming old school. The latest marketing craze is slapping your brand name 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 the deal appealed to Hershey because Android's and Kit Kat's principal demographics overlap.
The Kit Kat name was unexpected; tech pundits have speculated for months that the next operating system would be called Key Lime Pie. Marc Vanlerberghe, director of Android marketing, said the name was chosen because Kit Kat bars have been a "favourite 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.
Apple announcement rumours
Meanwhile, Apple has sent a colourful invitation for an event next week amid speculation that it may debut new colours for the latest iPhone.
The invitation, emailed Tuesday, has a picture of the Apple logo surrounded by multi-coloured polka dots and the sentence: "This should brighten everyone's day."
The iPhone 5, which went on sale in September 2012, comes only in black or white.
The event is on Sept. 10 at Apple Inc. headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. The company's latest phone model was expected to be unveiled this month.