Google has apparently struck a wild licensing deal with Nestlé to use the name ‘KitKat’ for its next version of Android. Though the announcement of the name by Google’s Sundar Pichai this morning struck off an immediate wave of commentary, it seems to go deeper than just a name.
If you visit Google’s ‘about Android‘ page, you’ll see a full-on Kit Kat bar (the company uses ‘Kit Kat’, not ‘KitKat’ to describe the candy) with an Android-themed wrapper. A link to ‘see what you’ve won’ leads you to the U.S. site for Kit Kat bars. This is an extremely odd pairing for a tech company and a candy firm.
We’ve reached out to Google for more information on exactly what the deal is here and it confirmed that no money changed hands between the two companies. This is apparently a like-for-like cross-promotion deal.
The contest will place Nexus 7 vouchers and Google Play credit in participating Kit Kat bars. There will also be a few actual Android-shaped bars in some markets.
Interestingly, the link on the Android site takes you to Hershey’s site, even though Nestlé manufactures Kit Kat bars in most of the world. This stems from an old licensing deal between Hershey and Rowntree (which was acquired by Nestlé), in which Hershey maintained the ability to license the name Kit Kat in the U.S. This has led to a ton of confusion about whether Hershey or Nestlé is behind the deal.