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Gimme a break: New Android system named KitKat

Source: Hershey's Kit Kat | Facebook

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

The tech giant, which is known for nick-naming 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: KitKat.

That's right, the new version shares a name with the chocolate candy bar with the well-known "Gimme a Break" jingle. KitKat packaging will show Android's green robot mascot breaking a KitKat bar.

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Financial terms weren't disclosed for the sweet deal between Google and Hershey, which makes KitKat. But the deal shows that naming a stadium or sponsoring a TV 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 KitKat brand in the U.S., while Nestlé owns the worldwide brand.

Podhajsky said that KitKat's jingle is a good fit for people taking a break to look at their smartphones or tablets. She added that the deal appeals to Hershey because Android hits the sweet spot of KitKat eaters, who are typically between 18 and 34.

"KitKat consumers are young, vibrant consumers of candy and chocolate bars, and that's a nice match with Android," Podhajsky said.

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The KitKat 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 KitKat bars have been a "favorite go-to snack among the team since the early days of Android."

The Android 4.4 KitKat 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.

—By The Associated Press

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