Google’s Android is the most ubiquitous smartphone operating system, but the average Android user probably doesn’t know that Google has specific names for each version of the OS.
Since the inception of Android, Google has named its iterations after desserts that followed alphabetical order starting with Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, FroYo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, and the most current version Jelly Bean. With the next letter of the alphabet being “K” it has been widely accepted that the next OS would be called “Key Lime Pie.”
However Google has surprised everyone, including its employees, by partnering with Nestle and naming the next Android OS “KitKat.”
According to adweek.com:
“Google’s next mobile operating system is called Android KitKat and will appear on 50 million KitKat wrappers around the globe in the coming weeks, the digital giant and Hershey, the candy brand’s parent, revealed today. The companies forged a no-cash, publicity-focused agreement for the co-branding effort, according to multiple reports.
“The development surprised many in the tech space, which had expected Google’s next mobile OS to be called Key Lime Pie. The Mountain View, Calif.-based company has customarily given Android iterations sweets-minded names, such as Cupcake in 2009.”
Although this move might seem creative, it is not being accepted in all circles. When a video first appeared on the Web promoting the “KitKat,” most people assumed it was a joke. Not to mention that fans of the Android name are not fond of the association with a non-tech company like Nestle.
As reported by usatoday.com:
“Upon the KitKat announcement, comment sections began overflowing with snide jokes about how a segmented chocolate candy underscores Android’s fragmentation. Others mused that they couldn’t wait for the Lucky Charms version of Android. And some pondered what Google wouldn’t have done for a Klondike Bar.
“But quips aside, Google abandoning a generic naming scheme for a trademark brand rubs many users the wrong way, especially when that brand’s holding company is decidedly non-tech. For quite a few folks, the KitKat-themed imagery that accompanies the Android operating system just feels…wrong. For them, an Android mascot stylized as a wedge of pie is far more preferable to a segmented candy bar slapped with a corporate logo.”
The deal does seem like a marketing gimmick, but Google representatives said that no money is being exchanged between the two companies, which makes it even more of a head-scratcher.
However, although the avid Android user may not like the KitKat moniker, it will elevate the brand into the minds of the average user. And isn’t that what good marketing is supposed to accomplish anyway?