Gimme a Break: New Android System Named ‘KitKat’

NEW YORK (AP) -

Gimme a break, Google. Break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar.

The tech giant, which is known for nicknaming its Android mobile operating systems for smartphones and tablets after desserts, has, for the first time, chosen a brand-name candy, for its 4.4 version that’s expected to launch this fall: Kit Kat.

That’s right, the new version shares a name with the chocolate candy bar with the well-known “Gimme a Break” jingle. Kit Kat packaging will show Android’s green robot mascot breaking a Kit Kat bar.

Financial terms weren’t disclosed for the sweet deal between Google and Hershey Co., which makes Kit Kat. But the deal shows that naming a stadium or sponsoring a show can be seen as old school. The latest marketing craze may be to slap a brand name on a tech product.

Google approached Hershey about six to nine months ago for permission to use the name, said Jennifer Podhajsky, vice president of U.S. chocolate at Hershey, which licenses the Kit Kat brand in the U.S. Nestle owns the worldwide brand.

The Kit Kat name was unexpected, since tech pundits have speculated for months that the next operating system would be called Key Lime Pie. Marc Vanlerberghe, director of Android Marketing, said the name was chosen because Kit Kat bars have been a “favorite go-to snack among the team since the early days of Android.”

The Android 4.4 Kit Kat system is expected to launch in October. The software is now running on more than 750 million smartphones and tablets throughout the world, making it the world’s most widely used mobile operating system.