Mobile browsers have a habit of announcing all of the “important” milestones they pass. But Opera Mini has some news I found genuinely interesting this morning – it has now been downloaded over 25 million times from the GetJar independent app store. That not only makes it the most downloaded GetJar app, but the most downloaded app from any open app store.
What do you mean by “open” app store?
The majority of app stores are closed – what people refer to as “walled gardens”. For example, the iTunes app store is only accessible to iPhone and iPod Touch owners. The Samsung App Store is only for people with a Samsung device. Open app stores will allow anyone to download from them. GetJar, for example, supports 72 device platforms and 8 software platforms (including Java, Symbian, WinMo, BlackBerry, Android and iPhone).
This does mean that Getjar doesn’t have the kind of stable backing that a closed store has. It supports itself through advertising and a Pay-Per-Download system, so the better it’s app developers do, the better it does.
Now, what about Opera Mini?
Opera Mini is a pared-down version of the internet browser for mobile devices. It’s a free, downloadable app based on Java, and was launched in 2006. Those 25 million downloads comprise all of the downloads of all versions of Opera Mini. The current version, 4.2, has been available since December of last year, and has been downloaded around 7.5 million times since the start of the year on GetJar. Due to the open nature of GetJar, those downloads have been split between owners of Java, Android, Blackberry, and WinMo devices
From the release:
“What makes GetJar so unique among app stores is its open philosophy which lets consumers consistently find the best app regardless of what platform they are on and what handset they are using,” said Rolf Assev, chief strategy officer, Opera Software. “The fact that Opera Mini is the most downloaded app ever on an open app store like GetJar makes us proud because it proves that our vision of providing a browser that works on almost all phones will give millions a better way to access the Web.”
”More and more, consumers demand a faster and easier mobile browsing experience, and Opera Mini delivers just that. It should come as no great surprise that a universally useful and simple application like the Opera Mini browser is so popular,” commented Ilja Laurs, GetJar’s CEO and founder. “The tremendous downloads of Opera Mini on GetJar proves that global accessibility to consumers is the key to success for application developers of all kinds.”
What we think?
There’s a SLIGHT amount of duplicity to this release – you would have imagined from seeing the title that the current version of Opera Mini has seen 25 million downloads. Now that would be a really great piece of news. But what is really being reported here is that Opera Mini has been downloaded 25 million times since it launched in 2006. Now, that does offer an average of roughly 8 million downloads per year, and since this year isn’t all the way done yet 2009 will probably see a notable increase in the number of hits the browser gets on Getjar.