Choc horror: Google brands Android 4.4 "Kit Kat"

Google partners with Nestle to name Android 4.4 after Kit Kat bars

Shona Ghosh
4 Sep 2013

Google has unexpectedly partnered with Nestle to christen Android 4.4 "Kit Kat".

Android 4.4 was set to be named Key Lime Pie, following Google's convention of assigning dessert-related codenames in alphabetical order, starting with Android 1.5 Cupcake four years ago. The tradition continued with Android 1.6 Donut, through to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.

We realised that very few people actually know the taste of a Key lime pie

It was expected that Google would tackle the tricky issue of a dessert starting with "K" by naming the next update Key Lime Pie. But the company decided the pudding was too niche.

"We realised that very few people actually know the taste of a Key lime pie," partnerships chief John Lagerling told the BBC.

"One of the snacks that we keep in our kitchen for late-night coding are Kit Kats. And someone said: 'Hey, why don't we call the release Kit Kat?'"

Trying to track down the right company proved difficult, said Lagerling, since Kit Kat is owned by Nestle, but licensed to Hershey in the US.

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

A deal was apparently struck "within an hour", though curiously neither firm will pay licensing fees, meaning the partnership is simply a cross-marketing effort.

"This is not a money-changing-hands kind of deal," said Lagerling.

According to the BBC, Nestle plans to sell more than 50 million chocolate bars featuring Android's green robot logo on the packaging. The branded Kit Kats will be available in 19 markets, including in the UK. Anyone buying a branded Kit Kat might also win a Nexus 7 or Google Play credit.

Google hasn't confirmed a release date or new features for Android 4.4 Kit Kat, but the updated OS is expected to be unveiled in October.

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