Opera has launched a mobile app store designed to provide users with access to applications regardless of which mobile platform they are using.
The Opera Mobile Store has been created in partnership with open app provider Appia, and allows users to download free or paid-for applications onto devices that use the Java, Symbian, BlackBerry and Android platforms.
The store launched with over 140,000 apps across all platforms, in contrast to the Apple App Store which launched with just 500 but now has over 400,000.
The Opera store provides users with a tailor-made experience, automatically customising itself depending on the user's operating system, local language and currency.
A 'speed-dial' link has been built into the Opera Mini and Mobile browsers allowing users to have direct access to applications, but the store will also work on other browsers.
"The launch of the Opera Mobile Store supports Opera's core belief in an open, cross-platform mobile internet experience by providing Opera users with an integrated storefront of mobile applications," said Mahi de Silva, executive vice president of consumer mobile at Opera.
"Our partnership with Appia delivers to all Opera Mobile and Opera Mini users easy access to a wide variety of great content, on any device, all over the world."
To support the development of applications, Opera has also launched a Publishers Portal that allows users to develop applications for the store, for which they will receive 70 per cent of the net revenue generated.
The launch of the app store rounds off a busy couple of weeks for the Norwegian browser maker after it announced that it had passed the 100 million mobile user mark.
The Opera browser was the first non-native browser made available in Apple's Mac App Store. However, in a bizarre move it was slapped with a 17+ rating with Apple claiming it gives users access to "frequent, intense, mature and suggestive themes".
Apple's closed ecosystem model is also facing competition from Mozilla, which announced the availability of the developer's kit for its Open Web Applications platform.
Much like Opera, the firm is looking to give developers the chance to create web applications that work across multiple platforms.
The Opera and Mozilla chief executives discussed the benefits of web applications at CeBIT, and were confident that the web app market will overtake its mobile counterpart.
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