Uptake of the Opera Mini mobile browser has grown by 150 per cent over the past year, as ever growing numbers employ mobile devices to access the internet.
More than 50 million unique users regularly accessed services in January using Opera Mini, up from 20 million in the same month last year. Opera added 10 million consumers in the three months from November 2009 to January 2010 alone, the firm said.
"Our original goal with Opera Mini was to make the web available to everyone, regardless of their network or mobile phone," said Opera chief executive Lars Boilesen. "Fifty million active monthly users is a great start."
A survey undertaken by Essential Research last month found that up to a quarter of all mobile users now use such devices to access the web.
About 63 per cent of respondents said that they were most interested in finding information or directions linked to their current location, while 61 per cent were keen to obtain relevant information based on their interests. About half would be willing to pay for such services.
Gartner, meanwhile, expects mobile phones to take over from PCs as the most common internet access device by 2013.
It has been a busy week for Opera. The company launched a beta version of its 10.50 browser for Windows, claiming it to be the fastest yet created, and announced plans to demonstrate a dedicated version of Opera Mini for the iPhone at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week.
The firm claims that Opera Mini is six times faster than Apple's Safari, which comes pre-installed on the iPhone, and is currently the only browser Apple allows to be used on the device.
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