Android 4.4 won't be Key Lime Pie, but instead be named after a well-known candy bar -- Android KitKat.
Surprised? So were Googlers when the new Android statue made of giant chocolate KitKat pieces was installed on its headquarters' lawn, according to Android's senior vice president Sundar Pichai. It seems that Google and Android held its cards close to their vests on a partnership with Nestle, which was finalized in February at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, according to BBC News.
John Lagerling, director of global partnerships at Android, did say that the next Android platform was internally called Key Lime Pie (Android's nicknames are based on sweets such as Ice Cream Sandwich and Jellybean), but the team decided against it late last year. "We realised that very few people actually know the taste of a key lime pie," he told the BBC.
So instead he and his team decided to name it after a late-night favorite in the Google kitchen: the KitKat.
Sure, it was copyrighted, but one phone call to Nestle's ad agency in the United Kingdom and the idea seemed to resonate with the Swiss company. Lagerling is quick to point out that the partnership doesn't involve money, only goodwill. It was only a "fun and unexpected" idea.
Nestle jumped on the idea within 24 hours of the phone call, but took a few months to hammer out details, mainly questioning Android's new operating system and its stability in case that could hurt the Nestle brand. However, Nestle was busy in the last few months creating 50 million chocolate bars in the shape of the Android robot to ship to 19 markets around the world, including the United States, Brazil, India, Japan and the U.K.
Both Google and Nestle kept the deal secret until Tuesday when it unveiled the statue, a contest to win KitKat bars and a Nexus phone, and a Nestle press release featuring the making of the Android KitKat chocolate bars.
There is something oddly sweet about this pairing, aside from the name, and the idea that two companies can decide to become marketing partners and both gain from the relationship.