Google recently erected a statue of an Android figure made out of KitKat chocolate bars. Then suddenly a Web site cropped up confirming that, indeed, the next version of Android is Android 4.4 KitKat. It caught everyone by surprise, not only because there’s branding involved, but largely because the next iteration was expected to be Key Lime Pie.
So what’s the deal? Who’s paying who and why KitKat? It turns out there actually isn’t any financial motivation to the branding. “This is not a money-changing-hands kind of deal,” Google’s director of Android global partnerships John Lagerling explained to the BBC. It’s just supposed to be fun, and Google chose KitKat because, like other iterations of its mobile operating system, it’s a sweet dessert.
So why bail on Key Lime Pie? Turns out people don’t really care for it, according to Lagerling. We certainly dig any kind of pie around these parts, though we’re more fond of chocolate. Lagerling said a group of Googlers were in a meeting when they thought of the name “KitKat” and how the “K” fit perfectly with the next release. The last release was Jelly Bean, for “J.” Apparently that resulted in a random call over to Nestle, which Google asked for permission. It only took the candymaker an hour to agree to the deal, one exec told BBC.
Both sides slept on it before rushing in. Apparently KitKat was tossed around as early as February, when meetings started to take place, and confidentiality was a key point of the partnership. Even internal execs working on Key Lime Pie still used the name, Lagerling explained. It was so secret, in fact, some Googlers only learned of the name change when the statue arrived.