updated 11:30 pm EST, Thu February 10, 2011
New versions of Mini and Mobile for phones too
Opera, the Norway-based browser that has found much more success as a standard on mobile phones than it has on the desktop, will unveil a version for the iPad at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain next week, the company announced. The developers also plan new versions of Opera Mini for Android, iPhone, J2ME, Blackberry and Symbian. Android and Symbian versions of Opera Mobile will also be making their debut at the conference.
In their quarterly State of the Mobile Web analysis, Opera Software reports a total of 105 million users of Opera browsers on various mobile platforms. The top 10 countries using Opera (mostly on non-smartphones) include Russia, Ukraine, India, Indonesia, China, South Africa, Nigeria, Vietnam, Brazil and the US. Outside the US, Opera's mini-browser is widely used on Nokia phones; in the US, Opera's main popularity comes from its placement in numerous Blackberry models, though the company still ranks the iPhone as it's "most popular handset" for the US.
Opera reports that their users more than doubled their data consumption over the course of 2010, even when on non-smartphones -- up 138 percent, with growth averaging more than 10 percent per month increase. The company adds in its report that over the next few years, hundreds of millions more people will be gaining mobile access to the web in some form or another for the first time, thanks to falling hardware and non-smartphone data prices in underdeveloped countries.