Blog Post

Do Opera Mini Stats Tell the Whole Mobile Web Story?

opera_mini_logoOpera again showcased the growth of the mobile web with today’s installment of its monthly report of Opera Mini usage, but in a world where web-friendly smartphones are gaining traction its data may be getting stale. While there’s no doubt that Opera Mini has amassed a huge following, it’s unclear how instructive the company’s statistics are when it comes to overall mobile web usage.

Mini is a great alternative for feature phones and other handsets with inferior embedded browsers, but as AdMob pointed out again last month, iPhones and other high-tech smartphones with advanced browsers are driving a huge amount of traffic on the mobile web. Opera is running neck-and-neck with the iPhone in the mobile browser market, according to StatCounter Global Stats.

Rolf Assev, Opera’s chief strategy officer, thinks the Opera data reflects worldwide mobile surfing trends as well as  underscores the idea that folks who surf on a wireless gadget visit the same places they do on wireline networks. He told me that while usage of the mobile web is largely driven by high-speed networks, users generally visit the same sites whether they’re using an iPhone, a computer or Opera Mini:
“I think in a way (Opera’s statistics) mirrors overall mobile web usage very well,” Assev said. “This is proving that there is just one web. As long as you can access the Internet, it doesn’t matter which device you are using; you’re just going to the same pages that you would go to on a computer.”
I think that holds true for users in emerging markets, where fixed-line web access is hard to come by and computers are scarce. I’m not convinced it applies to more advanced markets, though. I’m not a regular Opera Mini user, but my mobile web usage varies drastically from my PC usage. I’m very cognizant of which sites are mobile-optimized, which can be effectively transcoded and which are simply too difficult to access on a phone. Mini — like the iPhone, for that matter — addresses a lot of the problems that exist in the world of the mobile web, but there are still many hurdles to overcome before the “one web” concept truly applies.

It’s All About Google

However, as long as we take the results with a grain of salt, there are some interesting data points hidden in this month’s report.  Google (s goog) proved once again that it is the destination of choice for users of the popular mobile browser. Google — or a localized version thereof — ranked in the top 10 most visited sites in Opera Mini’s top 10 international markets in September, and was the most popular site for Mini users in the U.S. and India. Facebook also was popular among Mini users, ranking as the top destination in Great Britain and South Africa and the second-most popular in the U.S.

opera chart

Meanwhile, Opera Mini continues to build its worldwide audience: The browser claimed more than 35 million users last month, up 11.5 percent from August 2009 and more than 150 percent from the year-ago period. Mini users viewed nearly 15 billion pages last month, Opera claims, marking a 7.2 percent increase over the previous month and a 230 percent increase from September 2008. That momentum is sure to continue as Opera moves aggressively into the U.S. market with its recent distribution deal with AT&T (s t).


I think in a way it mirrors it very well, I think in the us it’s a tendency that people are using high end skmartphoen, also using very much on wifi, but if you look at outside us, in emerging markets, no wifi, very rfe w samrtphones,

It’s very int, they’re using their phone to access exactly the same pages as the computer,

Main reason is that people are accessing the same pages as on the opmuter, this maybe used to be the case in the us, walled garneds until last year like being in an amsument mpark, it’s nice to be disnelyand in one day, people are accesing the same sites as on the compuer, and they come back to the same sites, hometown newspaper, you keep your football team as a bookmark, you use t

Different use cases, the fact is it’s proving the other way around, yes you are surfing the exact same pages, go into the same psages

This is just proving there is just one web, as along as you can access doesn’t matter which device you are suing, you’re going to the same pages,

Wi-fi, it’s a very big use pattern diff whether you have hispeed on the phone or not, people in the us who do not, they are not surfing as much, but as soon as they get highspeed they are surfing  more, with opera mini you get ful speed int experience, that’s why we see our users are using browsers so much more for example, it all depends what kind of speed you’re getting, going trough

There are some sites optimized for mobile phones, for people not using mini, not using wifi, they tend ot go to very simple wap pages, but when they have a choice, that’s what iphone and mini

4 Responses to “Do Opera Mini Stats Tell the Whole Mobile Web Story?”

  1. The data doesn’t tell the whole story.

    Highlighting the fact that the mobile web ins’t a mass market product yet, why that is, and what needs to happen to have everyone use mobile applications on a daily basis, there is lots more data here and observations here:

    Talking about the mobile web, data plans and killer apps etc.

  2. “as AdMob pointed out again last month, iPhones and other high-tech smartphones with advanced browsers are driving a huge amount of traffic on the mobile web”

    AdMob is a crappy piece of feces. Their stats are based on serving ads, which is complete and utter nonsense.

    Smartphones are a tiny part of the overall market, and Opera Mini 5 works great on smartphones anyway.