The mobile browser is one of the most popular in the world because it is available on a variety of devices including Java, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, and other handsets. It is also able to run on relatively low-end hardware because it uses server-side compression technology to minimize the processing and bandwidth requirements.
The latest version of the browser has been downloaded from GetJar about 7.5 million times since the beginning of the year, and the overall download figure is likely higher because it is available from a variety of sources. Opera Mini is the dominant leader in the third-party browser market, but it is seeing increased competition from companies like Mozilla and Skyfire.
"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," said Rolf Assev, Opera's chief strategy officer, in a statement.
The milestone also demonstrates the growing reach of GetJar's app store. The virtual store does not get as much attention as Apple's App Store for the iPhone and iPod Touch, but it has quietly recorded more than a half billion downloads.
GetJar takes a different approach than Apple to distribute apps, as the programs in its store are offered free of charge, and for multiple platforms and devices. The company was also recently tapped to help provide the content for Sony Ericsson's upcoming app store.
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.