The term is often used to denote two specific rivalries: the competition that saw Microsoft’s Internet Explorer replace Netscape’s Navigator as the dominant browser during the late 1990s and the erosion of Internet Explorer’s market share since 2003 by a collection of emerging browsers including Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, and Opera.
Since that milestone in February 2011, Opera has doubled its users in less than 18 months, and gained status as the leading provider of mobile advertising services,” said Mahi de Silva, Chief Executive Officer of AdMarvel and EVP Consumer Mobile, Opera Software. “We are placing a strong bet on our US assets by expanding our team here, and hiring the best talent in Silicon Valley to deliver the best mobile products, tools and services to consumers, developers, publishers and advertisers – globally.
The number of mobile phone users who use Opera to browse the Web has topped 200 million per month for the first time, the Norwegian company revealed in a report on Monday, July 30.
The company, which has in the past boasted about being the most popular mobile browser, has more recently seen competition from both Android and Apples iOS Safari browser.
It comes as no surprise, then, that Opera wants to build on its mobile position through partnerships with the likes of mobile carriers.
Of that total figure, the Opera Mini browser, designed for feature phones, accounts for roughly 92 percent of users, while Opera Mobile, designed for smartphones, makes up the remaining 17 million.
Opera has been signing deals with operators in less developed markets deals with VimpleCom (Russia), America Movil (Latin America) and Airtel (India) together open Operas market potential to another 600 million users so the idea perhaps is that even if Opera is making less money on these deals in the short term, they will benefit in the long run.
Interestingly, Opera seems to be monetizing them slightly better (largely through advertising): sales were at $15.7 million, up 22% over last year.
The company is not at all giving up on this space, it says: the emphasis looking ahead will be trying to build up browser usage in Russia/CIS, where it happens to already have some traction with consumers as an alternative browser to Chrome and IE.
One of those frameworks is the Crossrider development framework which allows developers to build cross browser extensions for Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Safari.
Advertising where Opera has made a number of acquisitions such as Mobile Theory and 4th Screen (Feb 2012) and AdMarvel (Jan 2010) is proving to be an increasingly significant part of Operas business mix.
These new offices are now home to Opera Software’s subsidiaries, AdMarvel and Mobile Theory, as well as Opera’s US branch office.
Revenues in this area were up by 450% to $13.5 million, partly as a result of this inorganic growth.
Opera expects to generate meaningfully more revenue from this business in 2012 compared to 2011, as Opera ramps up revenue directly from advertisers and ad agencies via its mobile advertising network subsidiaries, Mobile Theory and 4th Screen Advertising, and capitalizes on AdMarvels strong position with premium USA publishers, the company noted today.
This is not a new partnership, but rather an extension, to 2014, of a relationship that has been in place since 2009, the company noted in a statement.
Under the terms of the agreement, Google will remain in place as the default search option across all of Operas products globally Opera Desktop, Opera Mobile and Opera Mini.
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed but Opera notes that it also includes promotion of various Google products and services.
That looks like it may already be kicking off: in its quarterly results statement, Opera points out that one of its chief aims in the quarters ahead is to push its position as a browser on Android devices.
If successful, that may impact Googles browser share in the emerging markets where Opera does best but that might be a tradeoff worth making: Google could still end up picking up more Android users, who would still be bringing in search traffic through the Opera browser partnership.
Brielle Shreiber is a business journalist based in Munich, Germany. Brielle has a passion for financial markets and breaking news stories and loves writing about business news, stock market, and economic opinions that matters most to its audience. Brielle spends a lot of time discovering and researching latest financial markets and industry news stories in order to make sure the latest and greatest stories are brought to you first on BigBoardNews.com.