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How Opera Mini is exploding in popularity with virtually no advertisement?

April 30, 2007 7 comments

It has been only a short 15 months since Opera Mini was released, and even with virtually no paid advertisement on Opera’s part, the mini mobile browser has been exploding in popularity all across the world.

I get the Opera Mini usage statistics report every day, and I see the growth among active users continue upwards.

It’s almost mind boggling to me that it became so popular largely through the power of word of mouth.

As part of my job I attend many conferences and events; I bump into people using Opera Mini all the time. The response I usually get is more than just neutral – they’re lovin’ it.

Opera Mini just works.

Which is why people are not only using it themselves, they’re also recommending it to others. The success of Opera Mini is all due to everyone who’s convinced a friend, family member or colleague to try it.

Here’s an example of how Opera Mini is gaining traction. Martin Hansen, a reader of this blog posted the following comment (edited for clarity) to a post I wrote yesterday.

“I told my brother about Opera Mini a couple months ago, and now he uses it quite a lot. Anyway, here the other day he was recalled to the military for a week’s training operation. And in the evening after a hard days work, he goes online with Opera Mini, a perfect situation where Opera Mini is a life saver.

Well, what happened is that suddenly everyone in his squad (or whatever) now wanted Opera Mini too. And he told me the impressions of Opera Mini were good among the people. I guess this is how Opera Mini has gotten many users without much active advertising.”

PC Magazine recently gave Opera Mini a 4 star rating, saying “If you only ever download one cell phone app, download Opera… Opera Mini 3.0 might change your life. This software injects an almost desktop-quality Web browser into even relatively humble devices.”

Opera Mini is becoming so popular; it’s now competing with some desktop browsers. For example, in Ukraine Opera Mini is more used than Safari, Netscape and Mozilla combined. Now, that’s a feat for a mobile browser.

How many people have **you** told about the free Opera Mini?

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Categories: Opera Mini

Update: Opera Mini beats Safari, Netscape and Mozilla combined in Ukraine

April 24, 2007 9 comments

Last Friday I blogged about Opera Mini being more popular than Apple’s Safari browser in Ukraine, a country with 42 million people. Now the IDG Wire service picked up on the story with articles in Network World, Yahoo News, PC World and PC Advisor.

The point of my blog post last week is that for the first time a mobile browser is beating desktop browsers in the rankings. And it’s no surprise to me that the popular Opera Mini is the one to beat the big guys.

Either way, a top Opera executive pointed out to another ranking (which counts more visitors) that shows Opera Mini beating Safari, Netscape and Mozilla combined in Ukraine.

Internet Explorer: 75.9%
Opera: 11.5%
Firefox: 11.2%
Opera Mini: 0.7%
Mozilla: 0.3%
Netscape: 0.1%
Safari: 0.1%

This data also shows the importance for web developers to test their sites and web applications in the Opera browser. Do you want to turn away more than 12% of Ukraine, a population of 42 million?

Categories: Opera Mini, Statistics

Opera Mini bigger than Safari in Ukraine

April 20, 2007 21 comments

According to browser usage statistics from Ranking.com.ua, Opera Mini has double the amount of users than Safari in Ukraine.

Web browsers brands:

  1. Internet Explorer, 74.4%
  2. Opera, 14.7%
  3. Firefox, 9.6%
  4. Mozilla, 0.5%
  5. Opera Mini, 0.4%
  6. Safari, 0.2%

It’s encouraging to see Opera Mini, a mobile browser, more used than Safari, which has a market share of around 4%.

Categories: Opera Mini

Opera Mini in the running for the "Best Mobile Solution" CODiE award

March 28, 2007 6 comments

codie.gifOpera Mini has been named as one of the six finalists for the “Best Mobile Solution” category for the 2007 CODiE awards, presented by the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA).

The winner will be announced at the CODiE Awards Gala, to be held on April 17 in San Francisco.

Categories: Opera Mini

Cingular, why the need for this?

March 27, 2007 18 comments

Cingular – soon to be AT&T – will offer a special application download to their customers that will allow them to access their bank accounts and pay bills via the mobile phone. Among the big banks that are going with this are Wachovia, Bancorp South, Regions Financial, and SunTrust.

I don’t understand the need to download a specialized banking application for the phone. What happened with the plain old web? This application is duplicating what’s already on the web in the form of webpages.

What’s next? Should clothing retailers, such as GAP and Banana Republic, make mobile applications too?

Should we expect mobile users to download all these applications, when they’re all available just a click away with a mobile browser?

Someone go tell Cingular/AT&T about Opera Mini, the tiny free mobile browser (with SSL support).

Categories: Opera Mini, Opera Mobile

Why I'm waiting for Yahoo's new OneSearch to be the default search on Opera Mini

March 22, 2007 16 comments

YahooA couple months ago Opera announced that Yahoo’s new mobile search engine, called OneSearch, will be included as the default search engine on Opera Mini and Opera Mobile.

Now I know there have been some complaints by Opera Mini users on the switch from Google to Yahoo, however after watching a screencast put out by the OneSearch team, I realized that it is better suited search option for mobile phones than the traditional Google and Yahoo web searches.

The results for your search queries using OneSearch include relevant information to what you’re likely looking for in a mobile environment. For example, if I were to search for “pizza” on my mobile phone, I’m most likely on the road and looking for a place to order pizza, so rather than returning links for the term “pizza”, OneSearch will list pizza shops in your area including addresses, phone numbers, ratings, etc.

(Watch the OneSearch demo)

Update: I just read a nice review on OneSearch on the WapReview blog.

Categories: Opera Mini

Live photo stream from Opera Mini photo bloggers at Opera HQ

March 13, 2007 1 comment

Similar to Google displaying live search queries in its headquarters, Opera now has a live stream of photos taken by Opera Mini photo bloggers (a.k.a. Mobloggers). The live stream is displayed in the reception area in Opera’s headquarters. (See pictures below)

A stream of these photos has already been available on My Opera for quite some time already.

Opera Mini 3 allows you to use the phone’s camera, during the browser session, and upload the picture directly to your blog, online photo album, etc. Not all phones allow third-party applications to access the camera, so this feature may vary by phone model. (Watch video demo).

Haavard sent me these pictures of the Opera Mini stream in the reception area (thanks).

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Categories: Opera Mini