Google has stopped short of selling its own chocolate bars, but will call the next version of its mobile operating system the Android KitKat, the company has revealed.
While early indications from Google HQ were that version 4.4 of the Android OS would be called Key Lime Pie, the search giant will instead brand the software with the name of the popular Nestle chocolate bar.
The move is a fantastic PR and marketing opportunity for the Swiss snack specialists, and one which they hope will spark a boom in sales. In spite of this, however, Google claims that the partnership was their idea, and that no money would be changing hands between the two.
In an interview with the BBC, Director of Android Global Partnerships, John Lagerling claimed that the plan was to do something ‘fun and unexpected’.
But the move does carry a degree of risk, particularly with regard to reputation management issues.
A strong association with another brand means they’re tarred with the same brush, and any future PR disasters for Nestle could have an adverse effect for Google.
Nestle has courted controversy in the past, particularly with a number of product recalls; like a recent dog food salmonella scare. But then Google has been in the bad books too. Only recently was it reported that the Android system in question attracted more malware attacks than any other mobile OS; so perhaps these two big brand bad boys are made for each other.
Google has christened every update of the Android OS with the name of a treat, and they’ve progressed through the alphabet along the way. Previous versions include Cupcake, Donut, Gingerbread and most recently Jelly Bean.
According to Largerling, the name KitKat was a snap decision, since that is a snack of choice in Google HQ. So the big question is: what’s next? Android Lemon Meringue Pie? Android Liquorice? Android Lollipop? Maybe they’ll choose a healthy option like Android Lettuce Leaves. Let us know what you think in the comments.