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Google unveils sweet treat for Android fans

Graeme Parton

Google has teamed up with Swiss confectionery giant Nestle to come up with the name for its latest update. The overhauled version – Android 4.4 – was originally set to be called Key Lime Pie but will now be known to tech fans as KitKat, in a nod to the popular biscuit-based chocolate bar.

All of Android’s releases have been tagged with desert-related nicknames, with previous versions including Gingerbread, Ice Cream Sandwich, Honeycomb and, most recently, Jelly Bean.

The decision is seen by many as a major promotional deal for Nestle, and the firm has already begun releasing packaging bearing the famous little green robot.

However, in a statement made to the BBC, Google claimed that neither company was directly benefiting financially, with the firm’s director, John Lagerling, saying:

“This is not a money-changing-hands kind of deal.”

Simon Myers, a branding expert from the consultancy firm Prophet, warned of the risks, though. He said:

“If your brand is hooked up with another, you inevitably become associated with that other brand, for good or ill.

“If that brand or business has some reputational issues that emerge, it would be naive to think as a brand owner that your good name, your brand equity, would not be affected.”

While Google has said the idea behind the deal was to do something “fun and exciting”, many are questioning the company’s involvement with Nestle, which has been criticised for how it went about promoting its powdered milk in third world countries. It has also been at the centre of a number of recall incidents – most notably after a batch of dog food caused a food poisoning scare over in the US recently.

It is not yet known what features Android KitKat will boast, or when it will be released to users, but a new four-finger chocolate statue has been erected in front of the company’s head office.

Graeme has experience creating content for online sources and for the radio, and at university he studied Multimedia Journalism.

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