This was certainly the most exciting year for all of us at Opera’s India office. More than 50% of our users have migrated to smartphones — mostly Android. Over 350 Indian-brand handsets were launched with Opera Mini preinstalled, Opera Web Pass is now available with three mobile operators, and almost all our browsers for computers and mobile phones were upgraded with new features. We ended the year with a big bash, celebrating 50 million Opera Mini users in India.
50 million Opera Mini users, third-largest app in India
More than 50 million people are now using Opera Mini to go online with their phones in India, making it the third-largest mobile app in India, after Facebook and WhatsApp. Our CEO, Lars Boilesen, joined 50 dancers in a fun Bollywood flashmob to celebrate and thank users in India. Watch it below:
Basic phone users migrating to Android
Opera’s mobile browsers Opera Mini, Opera for Android, and Opera Coast are now more used on smartphones than on basic phones in India. Of all Opera Mini users, 50% are now on Android. Java is the second-most-used mobile OS among Opera Mini users.
Opera preinstalled on more devices
During the last year, 16 Indian OEMs, including Micromax, Karbonn and Lava, preinstalled Opera Mini on over 350 models of Android devices that were launched in India. Globally, Opera browsers became the default on the Nokia X family of smartphones, Nokia Asha phones and the Tizen-based Samsung Gear S smartwatch.
Opera Web Pass packages available with three operators
Opera Web Pass offers easily understandable data packages that can be purchased from within the Opera Mini browser. Users can buy mobile internet packages for as low as Rs. 1.00. – or even free if it is a Sponsored Web Pass option. On the Speed Dial page, be on the lookout for the following entries: Vodafone Internet pass, Idea Web Pass or Tata Docomo Smart Net.
Saved ₹ 2.1 billion in data costs
Opera Mini’s advanced data-saving technology shrinks webpages down to as little as 10% of their original size, reducing data consumption by up to 90%. Opera Mini helped its Indian users save ₹ 2.1 billion in data costs in the first half of 2014. I expect these savings to have doubled by the end of December.
Proved Opera Mini is the fastest web browser
We asked Cigniti Technologies, a global leader in independent software-testing services, to conduct a benchmarking test to compare Facebook load times on Opera Mini vs UC 9.8. The tests confirmed that Opera Mini opens Facebook 34% faster on a 3G network and 27% faster on a 2G network than UC 9.8.
Improved Opera browsers for computers and phones
Opera for computers now offers visual bookmarks, and bookmarks can be grouped into folders and shared with other users. Opera has been compressing text and images for years; this year we launched Opera Mini for iOS with video boost – a feature that shrinks HD videos. You can check out a summary of our product updates here.
Customized Opera Mini for Java and basic phone users
Although the number of smartphones being used in the country is increasing, there is still a majority of Indians who use basic phones, usually based on the Java platform. For these users, we launched a special version of Opera Mini with features such as Speed Dial, Smart Page, download manager, night mode and private browsing.
India showed record growth in mobile advertising
According to the State of Mobile Advertising report, released by Opera Mediaworks, India is the growth driver of the Asia-Pacific market, with a mobile-ad impression volume growing 260% YOY. The trends that we identified included a country-wide shift from basic phones to smart devices, as well as the high monetization opportunities for advertisers in categories like News & Information, Arts & Entertainment and Business, and Finance & Investing.
More mingling with Opera users
Getting user feedback is very important to us at Opera. That’s why we love hosting meetups, where our top executives, including our CEO, and product managers are always available to interact with Opera fans. This year, we hosted #OperaMeetups for users and bloggers in Bangalore, Hyderabad, New Delhi and Mumbai.
Opera mascot made its debut
We ended 2014 by spreading the Opera Mini cheer at Mood Indigo, Asia’s largest inter-college cultural festival, organized by IIT Bombay. Student participants tell us that the Opera booth was the most fun to be at. This festival also marked the debut of our Opera mascot in India. You can check out pictures on our blog and the Facebook album.
Three cheers to 2014 for giving us such memorable moments. On behalf of the entire Opera India team, I’d like to thank all our users and partners for being a part of the journey. We are looking forward to a splendid 2015 by making our browsers and products more relevant for each of you.
Best wishes for the new year! 🙂