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Opera Teams Up with Yahoo! and Vodafone

Some cool news came from Opera Software this week, who announced partnerships with both Yahoo! (external link) and Vodafone (external link). First, Yahoo! Mobile is going to include an integrated version of Opera Mini, allowing the application's users to access the Internet directly. Second, Opera have developed a custom version of Opera Mini for Vodafone aimed at low- and mid-priced mobile phones. Both of these announcements are exciting endeavours for Opera that will bring their mobile browser to even more users around the globe.

The interesting news to me is the partnership with Vodafone because Opera have created a version of Opera Mini that is even more light-weight and uses even less data. When Opera originally released Opera Mini, I was extremely impressed because it made so much sense to move the bulk of the work from the tiny, weak processors of mobile phones to a much-more-capable server farm.

I am glad to see the technology further developed, although I'm interested to know how they slimmed down the application even more and when these improvements will be pushed to Opera Mini. However, some of the processing might rely on Vodafone; the press release is rather vague on the technical improvements, so I'm not quite sure.

As for the Yahoo! partnership announcement, I'm not convinced it will help Opera's mobile market share in the US very much. Most people in the US who are browsing the Internet on their mobiles are using smartphones. Of course, Opera Mini is the most popular mobile browser and it works on a huge range of platforms, but I think most users would prefer Opera Mobile instead. Opera need to target partnerships with RIM, Apple, and Palm in order to get Opera Mobile shipped as the default browser.

Nonetheless, I'm always happy to see Opera spreading further into the mobile browser market.

Comments

  • Opera Mini currently has two versions. One for higher powered phones, and a lighter version for lower powered phones. I'm guessing the Vodafone version is going to be the lower powered version with a few Vodafone logos on it.

    I've applied for the beta of the Yahoo Mobile browser and I'll tell you what it's like when I get access to it.

    Posted by Matt Oakes (external link) on Fri 20 Feb 2009 at 16:13

  • Also note Opera Turbo (external link), which brings Opera Mini technology to the desktop. Given present usually horribly slow internet connection, I might enjoy using it.

    Posted by Frans (external link) on Wed 25 Feb 2009 at 7:36