Opera Mobile use 47% up, impressive growth in emerging markets

Melanie Gross
Jul 30, 2012
Updated • Dec 2, 2012
Apps, Opera

Opera Software's ability to grow even in markets where it is facing multi-billion Dollar companies like Apple, Google or Microsoft has kept the company alive throughout all these years. It is like David is again fighting against Goliath, but this time, it is against several Goliaths in every country of the world.

One of Opera Software greatest strengths is the company's mobile strategy which has seen impressive growth in the last couple of years. In the past twelve months, Opera Mobile products grew by 47% surpassing the 200 million user mark in June 2012. About 17 million of these users are Opera Mobile users, while the bulk of the 200 million total users are using Opera Mini instead.

But Opera has not only noticed an upwards trend in users, but also in pageviews which grew to over 115 billion pages in June 2012, an increase of more than 55% in comparison to June 2011.

Opera's growth is especially apparent in emerging markets. In Africa, Opera Mini's user base grew by more than 100% in 36 countries, with Liberia topping the charts with an unbelievable user growth of 2904% in a year's time.

The core reasons for Opera Software's success in Africa and other emerging markets can be attributed to several factors. First, in these markets, cheaper phones have a much higher market share than top of the line products such as Apple's iPhone or the majority of Google Android devices. When you look at the top 10 handsets in African countries, you will notice that Nokia is the dominant company here, followed by Alcatel and then Samsung.

Opera in particular is benefiting from distribution deals with telecommunication companies that ship the browser with their devices.

Opera Mini ships with a data compression technology that reduces the size of data transfers on the Internet . Opera Mobile users too can enable the compression technology to save money when they are using the Internet.

Will Opera's growth continue? It is likely that it will, at least in the next twelve month period as the company has brokered deals with major Indian and South-American telecommunication companies.


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  1. joker said on August 13, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    it’s beter than of all browser I tested
    it have optinal & best user interface to work
    in mobile I have many option & desktop version

  2. berttie said on July 30, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    So why isn’t this translating to increased PC/notebook market share?

    1. Roman ShaRP said on July 30, 2012 at 11:32 pm

      I think it’s because:
      1) Opera Mobile with its long expertise can be run on most device (Android 2.XX, for example, were not all mobile browsers run)
      2) Some users have Internet access _only_ via mobile devices, and from my experience Opera is better than default Android browser.
      3) I got used to FireFox desktop/notebook (and even Win8 slate) experience, and I’m not going to go back to Opera there. No reason. Opera works better on my mobile, but FireFox with it’s extensions is most comfortable for me on desktop.

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on July 30, 2012 at 11:43 pm

        Good points. I think the core reason is that on the desktop if you can run Opera, you can also run Firefox or Chrome most of the time without issues. Here it boils down to preference more than brand.

  3. Roman ShaRP said on July 30, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Opera mini is faster – better than default Android browser. So I’m not surprised that it’s use go up.

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