Opera Mini: Africa’s Choice for Mobile Browsing

Posted on Thursday, May 31, 2012, under

Opera-MiniWith a 71% mobile browser market share, Opera Mini is a strong choice for mobile browsing in Africa. Even the most basic internet enabled cell phone can support the proxy browser.

“Web is a universal right, and no device is more universal than a mobile phone.” Says Jon von Tetzchner Co-Founder, Opera Software.

To signify Africa’s mobile browsing power, a global survey showed that 107.1 million people used Opera Mini with 37% (40 million) of them coming from Africa. While Worldwide, Russia, Indonesia and India are the top 3 Opera Mini user countries.

Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and Ghana are noted as the largest mobile phone markets in Africa. In a recent global State of the web report by Opera, Nigeria with a massive 45 million Internet users passed Ukraine to take the #4 spot on the top 20 Opera Mini usage countries list.

The four African countries above are joined by Sudan, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Zambia and Morocco to constitute the top ten countries using Opera Mini in Africa. Between them,  page views were seen to increase by 187% between June 2010 and June 2011. In the same period, unique users grew by 184% while data consumption rose by 199%.

As to where Africans users go to on the web, social networks and email services take the lead. And in-case you were wondering, turns out Facebook is the most visited site by Opera Mini users. Google, Youtube, Yahoo and Wikipedia are the other popular websites. And of-course, each country has those home grown websites that receive the most visits. Nation.co.ke (Kenya) and Vanguardngr.com (Nigeria) are some of the popular examples.

Handsets- With 100 devices submitted for review as the most used for Opera Mini browsing, Nokia leads with 89 devices. 7 of them are Samsung while Sony Ericsson, Alcatel, Apple and LG each have a single handset. The Nokia 5130 XpressMusic stands out as the most used handset.

Version 5 of Opera Mini comes with support for Windows Mobile, Symbian OS, Android and the iOS along with the previous versions support for Java ME platform.

How does Opera Mini compare to other Mobile browsers? In the last year, according to StatCounter the market share for Opera in Africa stood at 71%. Nokia comes second with about 16%, iPhone stands at about 3%, while Android, Blackberry and Samsung doesn't even cut 2% of browser usage in the continent.

Globally, it is Apple’s mobile browser Safari that has the largest global market share at 55%. Opera Mini comes at a distant 20% with Android browser closing in at 18%. Symbian and Blackberry hold the lowest market share at 3% and 2% respectively.

As phone and device technology improves in Africa, Webkit based mobile browsers are set enter the Africa market and challenge Opera Mini for a share its mobile browsing users.