Opera Mini storms mobile app market, but Safari is close behind

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Mobile browser Opera Mini has clocked up more than 25 million downloads via GetJar, the mobile app market backed by Accel Partners. That makes it GetJar’s most popular app ever. The latest version of Opera Mini (v4.2) has been downloaded 7.5 million times since the beginning of the year, which is not too shabby.

Opera Mini is also making Firefox eat dust in the mobile world. Firefox has been promising a full-blown mobile browser for a year, but Mozilla users are still waiting, although Mozilla has released Fennec 3, a beta version of its open-source touch mobile browser. Meanwhile, Opera Mini users are enjoying a pretty advanced browser which also runs Flash. Its popularity shows that mobile users are clearly not satisfied with the standard browser they tend to get thrown in with their cellphone.

StatCounter says Opera has a 25% share of the mobile browser market, followed by the iPhone’s Safari browser, on about 20%. That goes to show how powerful Safari is becoming, and that’s even ahead of the rumored Apple Tablet announcement.

The news is good for GetJar and shows how a single app store which can serve multiple platforms can scale, since Getjar is serving Java, Android, Blackberry and Windows Mobile platforms. What’s interesting is that GetJar also provides direct links into the iPhone app store, while it’s clear the user experience on mobile leaves a lot to be desired compared to browsing the iTunes store via the iPhone.

  • http://www.twitter.com/julesmorgan Jules Morgan

    This is actually a bit misleading. The article starts talking about downloads then switches to market share.

    People need to be aware that browser market share is HEAVILY influenced by which default browser shipped with the device especially in the case of the iPhone which has banned Opera.

    All that Statcounter page shows is how many Opera users vs iPhone users, and that’s not exactly apples vs apples.

    • block image

      Best feature in opera mini is block images. Not only saves bandwidth money, it also loads twice as fast.

      • Jonathan

        You could always use a portal like Skweezer or Google to do that from any browser, though. I think Opera has more impressive tricks up its sleeve than blocking images.

  • Martin

    Opera mini does not support flash. The Opera mobile browser will in the next version though afaik.

    But the Opera mini browser is still a great browser, with it’s best feature is that it compresses all the websites, reducing load time, render time and best of all traffic cost.

    Can’t wait to get my hands on the regular Opera mobile with Opera turbo, which brings fast loading to a fully fledged browser.

    • viclava

      Flash video works perfectly in opera mini on my LG viewty. I think it depends on the handset – not all that can run opera mini can run flash

  • http://firefox.newstwit.me/?p=1327 Opera Mini Storms Mobile Apps, But Safari Is On Its Tail (TechCrunch) | Firefox News on Twitter

    […] Continue reading here: Opera Mini Storms Mobile Apps, But Safari Is On Its Tail (TechCrunch) […]

  • Rich

    I remember downloading Opera Mini for the first time about 3 years ago and the different from my phone-shipped Netfront browser was exceptional.

    I hope the FCC comes down on Apple for being anti-competitve around browsers on the iPhone – and the application approval process in general. You can have any browser on the iPhone, as long as it’s Safari.

    Those market shares are misleading based on the fact that 25 million people CHOSE to switch to Opera Mini. Nobody chose to switch to Safari or any other phone shipped browser.

    • Martin Hill


      Actually, there are a dozen or more web browsers available for the iPhone on the App Store. Apple’s only requirement at this point is that they use the webkit engine (which is the same engine used by Symbian, Google Chrome, Android etc), so the story is not nearly as bad as you paint.

      Apparently Opera hasn’t actually submitted Opera to the App Store so until they do we don’t know for sure that Apple would reject it.


    • Martin Hill

      As an example, Quick Surf Web browser allows you to turn off images, has an ad-blocker, has a privacy mode, etc
      Green Onion’s web browser does multi-window browsing etc.
      Anonymous web browser does just that and other features.
      Ractor’s Big Web browser allows file saves, full-screen browsing etc.

      Check your facts before you post.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dave_Nattriss/782095485 Dave Nattriss

    Opera Mini is definitely my mobile browser of choice, above Chrome on Android (which has no caching – very frustrating). Very quick and it can render big pages pretty accurately.

    As Martin says though, it does not support Flash – no idea where you got that from!

  • gus

    Excellent browser and opens websites the Nokia standard browser fails to. Mandatory for anyone with a N96 or N97.

  • Edison

    I use skyfire, it supports flash, sites like justin tv ustream works fine.

    • http://www.clipgenerator.com Simon

      Whao! Skyfire even support sites that are build with flex and demand flashplayer 10. We have an application that builds videos within flash without centralized rendering and this is working in skyfire.
      http.//apps.facebook.com/clipgenerator_two or myspace.com/clipgenerator

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kiran_Vaka/16310246 Kiran Vaka

      yup..Skyfire rocks

  • http://11tech.wordpress.com/2009/08/25/opera-mini-rollt-den-mobilen-markt-auf/ Opera Mini rollt den mobilen Markt auf « 11tech

    […] [Techcrunch] […]

  • http://fvsch.com Florent V.

    Ouch, you got your facts all wrong about Mozilla and mobile.

    First, you write: “Opera Mini is also making Firefox eat dust in the mobile world.” This is not a fair statement, since there is no Firefox for mobile platforms, and Mozilla has not yet released a browser for mobile platforms. It’s no surprise that, in a given market, companies who have entered the market will supplant those who haven’t (yet), right?

    This is as if you had written “RIM is making Apple eat dust in the mobile world” six months before Apple entered the market with the iPhone. :/

    Then, you write: “Firefox has been promising a full-blown mobile browser for a year”. I follow most updates by Mozilla, and to me it seems that they have repeated for a year that they’re working on it. First as a prototype (there was a test project before Fennec if i remember correctly), then they released alpha, then beta builds for some specific platforms.

    Finally, you write: “Mozilla has released Fennec 3, a beta version of its open-source touch mobile browser.”

    Mozilla has released the third beta of Fennec 1.0. Not Fennec 3. There hasn’t been a stable release of Fennec yet. And Fennec 1.0 will be the first mobile browser by Mozilla. So, yes, (some interested) users are still waiting, you got that one right. ;)

    • Trips

      Smackdown :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Leandro_Garcia/1681804189 Leandro Garcia

    I’ve ever used Opera Mini and I loved it. It’s easy do navigate.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kiran_Vaka/16310246 Kiran Vaka

    I have tried various mobile browsers on Nokia N series, and found Opera Mini and Skyfire to be the best. Opera is especially superior in it’s image rendering and resizing capabilities. Of course, after switching to iPhone, it has been Safari all the way. I just hope the Blackberry browser improves, or is at least replaced by a webkit-based browser. (http://bit.ly/54US4)

    As a person who sometimes develops graphical content for mobile phones using HTML5 and Canvas element, the “non-cooperation” on part of BB browser is a hurdle.

    “Therefore, the real barrier to HTML5 adoption is RIM’s Blackberry platform.
    Blackberry has its own specialized browser not built on any of the major browser engines. It only recently started handling html, css and javascript reasonably well, but still is insufficient and buggy compared to other browsers.”

    • Bill Fisher

      I agree absolutely. Blackberry is the IE6 of the mobile web development world. Totally lame.

      And yeah, HTML5/Canvas is excellent — great way to make beautiful sites for mobile with very little bandwidth.

  • http://www.chatkochi.com Pradeep

    I guess they will win

  • http://www.upoff.com/2009/08/25/opera-mini-is-most-downloaded-app-ever-but-for-how-long/ Opera Mini is most downloaded app ever, but for how long? | UpOff.com

    […] reports that Opera accounts for 25 percent of mobile browsers out there, according to analytics site StatCounter. It’s ahead of the Safari browser built […]

  • http://www.family-learning-center.com/computers-technology/venture-beat/opera-mini-is-most-downloaded-app-ever-but-for-how-long/ Opera Mini is most downloaded app ever, but for how long? | Family Learning Center

    […] reports that Opera accounts for 25 percent of mobile browsers out there, according to analytics site StatCounter. It’s ahead of the Safari browser built […]

  • http://www.ukstevieb.com/2009/08/26/steviebs-shared-items-august-26-2009/ StevieB’s Shared Items – August 26, 2009 at Lost in Cyberspace

    […] Opera Mini storms mobile app market, but Safari is close behindAugust 25, 2009 […]

  • http://www.eurox10.com Homer Automation

    What are the main differences between Opera Mini and the regular version (on Windows Mobile)?

  • Martin Hill

    This article features some pretty distorted stats – as far as mobile browser marketshare is concerned, Mobile Safari actually has over twice the web marketshare as Opera.

    Mobile Safari and Opera are both software – the iPhone so how about some like-for-like comparisons?

    Opera is available on hundreds of devices from many manufacturers including phones and PDAs. Mobile Safari is available on 2 devices – iPhone and iPod Touch. Taken together Mobile Safari actually racks up a gob-smacking 50 – 60% of the mobile web browsing market.


    Also, Opera Mini has been available for 3.5 years almost twice as long as Mobile Safari and has only racked up 25 million downloads in that time versus the 45 million Safari installations on iPhones and iPod touches so one should take press releases like this with a little more discernment.


  • Martin Hill

    Sorry, that second paragraph was supposed to read:

    “Mobile Safari and Opera Mini are both software – the iPhone is hardware, so how about some like-for-like comparisons?”


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