Opera Mini Sees Explosive 157% Growth

However, the mobile browser is facing increased competition from startups and Mozilla.
While Opera Software hasn't been able to gain much market share on desktops, it continues to see explosive growth with its mobile browser.

According to the company's latest state of the mobile Web report, more than 23 million people used Opera Mini to access the Web from a phone in March. This is a 12.1% increase from February, and a 157% increase from March 2008.

These users viewed more than 8.6 billion page views for March, which was a growth of 255% year over year. The mobile browser uses server-side compression to ease connectivity demands for handsets, and the company said if it didn't compress data, Opera Mini users would have viewed nearly 1.4 PB of data in March.

"A mobile phone will be the device most people use to access the Web," said Jon von Tetzchner, Opera's CEO, in a statement. "As millions of people each month discover the Web through Opera Mini, content providers have an incredible opportunity to seize competitive advantage in this new medium. By simply ensuring their content works on any device, they will open themselves to the next generation of Web users."

Opera has a strong share of the mobile browsing market, but it will be facing increased competition as more and more customers access the Web from their phones. Along with on-deck browsers like Apple's mobile Safari and Microsoft's mobile version of Internet Explorer, Opera is facing other competition from a few upstarts.

Startup Skyfire is turning heads by using server-side technology to deliver Flash content to handsets. Mozilla is trying to replicate the success it had on the desktop by bringing developing a mobile version of Firefox.

Most companies are just starting the hard work of mobilizing workforces by bringing the software they use to smartphones. InformationWeek wrote an independent report analyzing this issue, and it can be downloaded here.