Opera eyes boost from app stores, eyeing tablets

by Nithya 2010-11-23 16:59:30

Opera eyes boost from app stores, eyeing tablets

Norway's Opera Software aims to increasingly focus on distributing its mobile browser through online stores, such as those run by Apple and Google, an executive said.

"We feel that marketplaces can generate many more downloads of our mobile products," Chief Financial Officer Erik Harrell told Reuters in an interview.

Opera -- whose free mobile browser is used more widely than the browsers of top smartphone makers Apple and Nokia -- has increasingly focused on distribution deals with large telecom operators and selling directly to consumers, as cellphone manufacturers have started to create own browsers.

Opera, which has browsers for personal computers and mobile phones, is also eyeing an entrance to the fast-growing market of tablet computers.

"It's an interesting market for us," Harrell said, but declined to comment on any product plans.

Research firm Gartner expects the market for tablet computers, created by Apple's iPad, to rise to 55 million devices next year from 19.5 million this year.

Harrell said China's Mediatek has just started shipping Opera Mini pre-installed on its platform -- a deal which enables Opera to tap a grey market of several hundred million phones sold yearly by small Chinese handset makers who use Mediatek's chipset.

Also Nokia, the world's top cellphone maker, has continued to pre-install Opera on some of its new popular mass market models like the X3 Touch and Type, and the C3.

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