Home > Statistics > The usage of the Opera browser grew by 67% in 2006

The usage of the Opera browser grew by 67% in 2006

January 18, 2007

According to HitsLink, a company that tracks various web statistics, the Opera browser had an increase of its market share by 67 percent in the year of 2006.

After making the browser ad-free in 2005, the average daily download rate for the desktop browser more than doubled. There are about 12-15 million users of the Opera desktop browser.

On the mobile side, more than 40 million mobile phones were shipped with the Opera Mobile web browser, and Opera Mini has amassed an astonishing 9 million active users since it was first released a year ago (I use Opera Mini all the time – I’m lovin’ it).

And let’s not forget the Opera browser on the Nintendo Wii. I don’t know how many Wiis were sold and how many more are on back order, but I think it’s safe to say that there are another few million that have the Opera browser at their convenience.

2006 was a great year for Opera fans; the Nintendo Wii deal definitely made me, as an Opera user, very proud. Let’s make 2007 an even better year for increasing the Opera browser usage, both on the desktop and Opera Mini. Show your friends, classmates, and family how to install Opera (Read: How to promote the Opera browser?).

Edit: For the sake of fairness, I want to point out that Opera’s total desktop market share is still less than 1%. But we’re inching ever so close to that mark.

Categories: Statistics
  1. January 18, 2007 at 1:21 pm
  2. Rick
    January 18, 2007 at 2:07 pm

    A 67% increase? What a hilarious way of avoiding the fact that the same site says that Opera’s overall share is 0.87% — that’s right, nearly 5X fewer than even Safari.

    Sometimes Opera Watch has to stretch so far to twist news into something positive that it’s positively transparent.

  3. January 18, 2007 at 2:38 pm

    Rick, this 67% growth is significant, since Opera is inching closer and closer to the 1% market share of browsers.

  4. January 18, 2007 at 2:45 pm

    Rick: Transparency is usually considered a good thing in communications 🙂

  5. January 18, 2007 at 2:46 pm

    Daniel, it may be significant, but most reasonable readers would have a very different opinion of the content you posted had you included in your headline or lede paragraph that this growth represented less than half of one percentage point and that Opera still represented less than 1% total browser usage.

    BTW, can you answer the question I posed here:

    I’m getting ready to do a blog article talking about security in the browser world and I’d like to be as accurate as possible about the various browsers’ disclosure policies. Thanks.

    – A

  6. Kc4
    January 18, 2007 at 2:46 pm


  7. January 18, 2007 at 2:57 pm

    Asa, as I mentioned in my comment above to Rick, true Opera has less than 1% of the market share, however this increase represents a substantial turnaround for Opera. It was always stuck on less than 0.4 percent; we’re inching toward the elusive 1%. 🙂

    I read your comment(s) yesterday, and emailed multiple people in Opera who are familiar with the matter. I haven’t heard back from them yet, since my email (my Opera account) has been down all day. Have you read this article yet, I encourage you to take a look at it.

  8. January 18, 2007 at 3:08 pm

    Daniel, yeah, I read that. I agree with almost all of it. I think pretty much all of the browser vendors agree that a DOS is most likely not a security issue and that NULL pointer crashes are usually not worth worrying about except as a stability issue.

    My only concern was (probably due to uncareful wording) with the statement that “Crashes that do not prevent restart of the application” were not security issues.There is a pretty huge caveat there considering many crashes (like the two reported fixed in 9.10,) can lead to arbitrary execution of code. I assume that Yngve was really just using that example to make a point about DOSs not being considered security issues.

  9. January 18, 2007 at 3:44 pm

    I’m happy with the stats, but I too think the headline could have been worded a little more in reflection of the overall market.

    In other news! “Asa provides headline writing advice to Daniel to not be overly biased and/or misleading. Alanis Morrisette unavailable for comment.”

  10. January 18, 2007 at 6:04 pm

    Eddie, are you suggesting that my headlines are biased or misleading? OK, maybe a couple are biased, but the majority are not. Here they are.

    opera fails to notify users at risk
    opera gets anti-phishing
    yes, opera web developers steal from firefox too
    opera gets “tabs”
    opera falls into line
    opera followup
    opera continues to follow firefox’s lead
    opera and firefox
    opera lies about being named pc world best browser
    congratulations to opera
    on bloat and opera
    opera moving in the firefox direction
    opera, the amiga of web browsers
    opera listens
    opera set-ups
    dbaron saves opera
    opera update
    opera 7.5

    Wow, I’m surprised, looking over my archives that fewer than 1% of my posts are about Opera. From all the screaming I hear from Opera fans, I would have guessed that was all I ever blogged about.

  11. January 18, 2007 at 6:07 pm

    I don’t think stating 67% growth is any more misleading than stating X million downloads—something I’ve heard from Firefox, Opera, and even IE.

    Significantly, if Opera’s marketshare continues to grow even at the Jan-Nov rate (since it grew a lot during December), it should pass the 1% mark in Net Applications’ statistics by the end of the year.

  12. January 18, 2007 at 6:22 pm

    Asa, considering that this headline is about a certain percentual increase in Opera usage, just like Kelson, I would assume that Eddie mainly meant something like http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/asa/archives/2006/10/firefox_2_milli.html

  13. January 18, 2007 at 7:29 pm

    What is important is that even if Opera doesn’t increase its overall % marketshare, it’s still increasing its userbase. In today’s world, more and more people are getting online… and obviously more people out there are choosing Opera. If Opera can help any of them get on the web, then Opera’s done its job.

  14. January 18, 2007 at 7:57 pm

    The headline I had in mind was the “opera continues to follow firefox’s lead” one.

    It’s the word “continues” that I thought was misleading in that case. But in any event, I didn’t mean any offense by it. I felt that headline was misleading because, like a certain someone recently said, Firefox has stolen ideas from Opera as well as Opera stealing ideas from Firefox (that’s my perspective on the outside of both camps looking in). Your headline doesn’t take into account the bigger picture any more than Daniel’s.

    And “misleading” may not be the best word.. I apologize to all for using it -I should have just went with biased (or maybe “narrowly scoped?”).

  15. January 18, 2007 at 8:01 pm

    Correction- I think it was the “opera moving in the firefox direction” post.

    Regardless- although the headlines are “true” and Asa and Dan both have the right to put up whatever the heck they want, I just thought was a pot/kettle/black moment myself worthy of some ribbing.

  16. January 18, 2007 at 8:04 pm

    You guys are great. I love you all.

  17. January 18, 2007 at 8:05 pm

    That was odd. I’ve either stumbled on a bug in the site or a bug in Firefox. The name and website field were filled in with Eddie’s information.

    – A

  18. January 18, 2007 at 8:08 pm

    Thanks for listing them out for me Asa- it’s a nice trip down memory lane. Good times, good times.

    “congratulations to opera”

    lol… bravo good sir!

  19. January 18, 2007 at 8:13 pm

    I saw that bug when Daniel first moved OperaWatch from the blog host he had at the beginning. Haven’t seen it since though.

  20. January 18, 2007 at 8:14 pm

    Asa, before the Blake Ross interview made it to Digg, I enabled the cache on the blog (I use WP-Cache). I know there’s a problem (bug) with the cache plugin I use, which displays the incorrect username like what happened with you, but I have no other choice but to use it during high volumes of traffic.

    But rest assured, it wasn’t a bug with Firefox. 🙂

  21. January 18, 2007 at 10:23 pm

    OK. Thanks for the explanation. I’ve seen that with caching before. Maybe you could put a notice in your template next to the Post a comment title.

    – A

  22. January 18, 2007 at 11:47 pm

    Well, if it’s its any consolation, I *do* love you all too. 🙂

  23. Chris
    January 19, 2007 at 4:12 am

    Asa is clearly desperate to dig up some dirt on his competitors. Firefox has had more security holes than IE lately, which is bad publicity, so now he tries to make up stories about Opera to fend off criticism about Firefox.

    Why is Asa so busy paying attention to his competitors instead of doing his job; proper QA so that future Firefox releases aren’t as terrible as the latest updates have been?

    Asa, try to spend less time obsessing over Opera, and more time improving your own product.

  24. Grey
    January 19, 2007 at 7:16 pm

    Judging from the comments he made it seems Asa can behave adequate (if he wants).
    How about migrating that over to your own blog, too? I bet Less people would complain if you’d use adequate tone.

    Nice that you are moving in the Opera direction, Asa 🙂

  25. January 20, 2007 at 5:02 am

    Opera browser is great, but don’t work with Flash on Linux. However reading web pages without flash in browser is so faster them with it.

  26. January 22, 2007 at 1:24 am

    Chris, I haven’t been involved in QA for years.

    – A

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