Friday, 26 February 2010 15:51

Opera Mini users go for Google, bypass Bing

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Statistics collected by Opera Software show that Google is still the go-to search engine for mobile users in the US.


One of the characteristics of Opera Mini is that all page requests pass through Opera's servers, giving the company unusual insight into user behaviour.

Opera's latest statistics show that Google search accounts for an amazing 9% of all page views in the US, with Yahoo! a distant second on 4.3%.

Bing is apparently practically invisible to mobile search users as it made up just 0.03% of page views.

"Google enjoys a commanding lead in mobile Web search in the United States," said Opera officials.

The reason why traffic is directed through Opera's servers is that this allows the content to be compressed before being forwarded to the handset. This generally reduces the cost to users and operators, and may speed page loading.

How much difference does compression make? Where is Opera Mini most used, and on which handsets? Please read on.



In January 2010, the use of Opera Mini resulted in 337TB of data being sent to handsets. Without compression, the figure would have been 3.1PB (roughly ten times higher).

And usage is rising faster than user numbers. Year-on-year growth for user numbers was 149% (to around 50 million users), while page views rose by 208% and data consumed by 176%.

Interestingly, the top ten countries for Opera Mini usage were Russia, Indonesia, India, Ukraine, China, South Africa, the United States, Nigeria, Vietnam and the United Kingdom.

Outside the US and South Africa, Nokia dominates the lists of top 10 handsets for Opera Mini usage, though in some markets Sony Ericsson and Samsung get a look in.

Samsung is especially strong in South Africa, while in the US BlackBerry and Samsung take six of the ten places.

And in the UK, the number one Opera Mini phone is the LG Renoir, but Nokia is still the dominant brand.


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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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