Some 2.6 million unique iPhone owners are using Opera Mini, according to its maker’s latest State of the Mobile Web report, the first full dataset since the browser arrived for Apple’s (s aapl) iPhone last month. In fact, the iPhone now tops the U.S. list of devices on which Opera Mini is used and is No. 3 on a worldwide basis. But while that sounds good, some of the numbers don’t seem to add up.
For starters, in light of the Opera Mini’s reported 58.9 million users in April, 2.6 million of them using the browser on an iPhone is nothing to sneeze at. And given historical data showing iPhone web use to be high, even when its worldwide market share is low, I’d expect them to greatly boost the overall page views served by Opera Mini. But that’s not the case as shown by Opera’s own graph of PVs in April:
In fact, the browser’s page view trend showed higher growth rates prior to the availability of Opera Mini on the iPhone, not after it. February is an outlier, but that’s likely due to having fewer days in the month. Opera says that in April, the 26.3 million page views transcoded was a scant 1.6 percent higher than in March. Wouldn’t you expect that the web-hungry iPhones would cause April’s numbers to jump? They would — if iPhone users were actually using Opera Mini. Much as I suspected would happen, I believe that Opera Mini is getting installed on iPhones, but it’s not actually being used for browsing in any significant way.
At last check, Opera Mini was ranked as the No. 3 free productivity application in Apple’s iTunes Store, which adds credence to the installation base. But the current version of Opera Mini has a solidly mediocre three-star rating, with 1,495 users giving it five stars and a nearly equal 1,424 users rating it with just one. Notably, you can’t make Opera Mini the default browser on an iPhone.
Opera’s data is on one side of the ring, while my own thoughts are in the other. Maybe this is a good time to for our readers that own an iPhone or iPod touch to cast the final punch. Forget what Opera says about who uses Opera Mini on the iPhone — the real question is: Do you?
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