Friday, 26 November 2010 01:37

Opera: Gen Y screaming 'encore' for the mobile web


Opera, the world's 'other' browser company famed for smartphone and feature phone browsers (including iPhones and Android phones), the Nintendo Wii browser and PCs, Macs and Linux boxes, says Gen Y is going gaga for the mobile web: bravo!

Generation Y individuals are music to Opera's ears according to a new 'State of the Mobile Web' report issued by the Norwegian browser company, Opera.

The salient stat? Opera says that 'most' 18-27 year olds who use Opera Mini are browsing the web on their phones, with Opera Mini, more than they use desktop or laptop PCs for the same purpose!

This is no surprise to someone like me who has been using the web on mobile phones long before iPhones came along, and indeed, when I was in the Gen Y age group myself, although today's mobile web experience is far superior to that of times past.

Jon von Tetzchner, Opera's co-founder says that: "We have often said that the next generation will grow up knowing the Web mostly through their mobile phones. We see this trend already emerging in different regions around the world. The mobile Web will bring a profound change in how we connect with one another. I think the results from this survey already show that change taking place."

Opera says that its full report, available to download free here, highlights 'previously unpublished data surrounding mobile and Internet lifestyle attitudes among mobile web users ages 18-27 in the United States, China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Russia, South Africa, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, Vietnam, Brazil, Germany, and Poland. These countries represent major markets in terms of Opera Mini usage.'

Interestingly, Opera points towards 'fewer smartphones' in use by Opera Mini users in Nigeria, South Africa and Indonesia, where '90% of so-called Gen Y users' are using their phones to surf the web more than PCs.

This fewer smartphones comparison is in contrast to countries such as the US, Brazil, Germany and Poland, with Opera stating that 'this result challenges to the long-standing belief that smartphone uptake will be the major driver of mobile web usage globally.'

Report highlights on page two, please read on!

The report has several highlights. These include:

- Nearly 90% of US study respondents in the Gen Y age group 'have used their phones to share pictures.'

- Vietnam, one of the profiled countries, 'had the lowest use of mobile phones to share pictures' at 67%, but hey, that's still more than half!

- Opera also has some interesting stats on Gen Y dating patterns. It turns out that 44% of US respondents 'have asked someone out on a date via SMS', which is the lowest rate. In addition, 'respondents in China (84%), Germany (84%) and Vietnam (83%) are most likely to have used SMS texts to ask someone out on a date.'

- There's also a 'disdain for printed newspapers' by US and Chinese respondents, with 53% of those in the US and 57% of those in China saying they 'rarely or never read physical newspapers.'

- 'Respondents in South Africa (49%) and the United States (44%) were somewhat to very uncomfortable sharing their personal information online.'

In terms of Opera Mini use globally, where Opera Mini competes with Webkit-based browsers in phones such the iPhone, Android and Nokia, and the otherwise basic browsers seen in 'feature phones', we learn that:

- 'In October 2010, Opera Mini had over 76.3 million users, a 7.1% increase from September 2010 and more than 92% compared to October 2009.'

- 'Opera Mini users viewed over 41.6 billion pages in October 2010. Since September, page views have gone up 12.6%. Since October 2009, page views have increased 142%.'

Opera has been quite a success story, from the Wii browser to Opera browsers for mobile phones and of course Opera for PCs, whether they run Windows, Mac OS X or Linux.

It really is a success when you consider that IE, Firefox, Google Chrome and even Safari get the lion's share of publicity, but Opera has definitely managed to succeed despite all the competition, and for that, the company unquestionably deserves its success, its profits and a standing ovation.



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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.



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