For this month’s State of the Mobile Web Report, we’ve decided to change things up a bit, adopting a slightly different perspective to examine Opera Mini and its role in the evolution of mobile browsing.
For nearly 3 and a half years, based on our analysis of Opera Mini usage, we’ve been sharing our insights on how people around the world browse the Web on their handsets. Since our first report in 2008, however, the landscape has changed considerably. Mobile Internet access has become increasingly ubiquitous, and excitement over the latest and greatest smartphones has come to dominate technology headlines.
Despite the fact that Opera Mini was not designed to be a smartphone browser (that’s what Opera Mobile is for), many smartphone users do, in fact, use it, as do even more non-smartphone users.
The cutting edge devices get most of the attention, but the full story is no less important. Opera Mini has provided the means for a huge number of people to browse the Web for the first time, and many users around the world browse the Web primarily via Opera Mini on their handsets (as opposed to a desktop browser)1. In fact, for the first time, more than 20 countries in the world have at least 1 million people using Opera Mini every month2.
Below is the list of 22 countries where Opera Mini is used by 1 million or more people, presented in the order that each country passed the 1 million mark and when that happened. Half of the countries with more than 1 million Opera Mini monthly users passed that milestone in 2011:
|Country||Date reaching 1 million users|
|United States||December 2008|
|South Africa||June 2009|
|United Kingdom||January 2011|
While we normally present month-to-month growth numbers and year-on-year growth percentages, the short-term changes don’t fully illustrate Opera Mini’s tremendous growth. Looking over our historical data, starting in January 2006, the number of Opera Mini users actually doubled a total of 8 times. In January 2006, there were 400,000 unique users of Opera Mini. October 2011 marks the 8th time Opera Mini usage has doubled since then.
The number of monthly Opera Mini users has swelled to over 140 million unique users in October. As seen in the list above, much of this growth has taken place in countries like Russia, Indonesia, India, China and Brazil — countries where wired Internet penetration3 still has a long way to go and where (in some cases) handset usage4 already dwarfs what we see in the United States and Western Europe.
When mobile browsing becomes so commonplace that websites are designed for mobile first and desktop second, perhaps those who grew up using Opera Mini (as a common way to access the Internet) in countries like Indonesia and Ukraine will lead the way in terms of small screen web development and user interface design. Indeed, we believe that the mobile Web will and should be increasingly global in its evolution.
In October 2011, the Opera Mini browser saw increases in unique users, page views and data consumed. In all, 140 million people used the Opera Mini browser in October, 86.2 billion pages were served and 12.7 petabytes of operator data were compressed for Opera Mini users.
In October 2011, there were over 140 million Opera Mini users, a 6.6% increase from September 2011. Since October 2010, the number of unique users has increased 83.4%.
Opera Mini users viewed over 86.2 billion pages in October 2011. Since September, page views have gone up 8.9%. Since October 2010, page views have increased 107.2%.
In October 2011, Opera Mini users generated over 1,360 million MB of data for operators worldwide. Since September, the data consumed went up by 8.7%. Data in the Opera Mini browser is compressed by up to 90%. If this data were uncompressed, Opera Mini users would have viewed over 12.7 petabytes of data in October. Since October 2010, data traffic is up 120.8%.
|Month||Data transfer (MB)|
For more information about the State of the Mobile Web report, please contact Pål Unanue-Zahl palu[at]opera.com, +47 2369 2400.
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