Mobile internet users growing fast in India

 The number of unique users of Opera Mini in the country shot up by 267.3 per cent between January 2010 and 2011, giving a strong hint that mobile-internet users are growing rapidly in India.
Declining to give an absolute number of Indian users in the country, Opera Software chief development officer Christen Krogh said of the 90 million active opera mini users, the third largest chunk came from India, following Indonesia and Russia.  Quoting from a recent survey of the Indian market, he said for 41 per cent of Indian users, mobile was the only possible way to access Internet. India has emerged as the second largest home for mobile-only-Internet users after South Africa.

Mobile Internet users in India are young, with 94 per cent of them aged between 13 and 34 years. Surprisingly, the report claims 95 per cent of mobile Internet users are men. India is on course to overtake China as the world’s largest mobile market by 2013 and the usage of Opera Mini in India is also outpacing China.

Between January 2010 and 2011, Opera Mini unique users grew by 59 per cent in China. The growth in page views in China grew 54 per cent in the same period, compared to the 372 per cent growth in India. ‘Page views’ indicates the actual number of web pages viewed by the Internet users. Despite innovating many features such as CSS, tabs and speed dials, which have now become industry standard, Opera’s market share in desktop browser hovers around only 3 to 4 per cent.

“The competing companies such as Microsoft and Google have far more distribution power and Opera was a paid browser when other browsers were free,” Krogh said.
Opera is now planning to leverage its strong presence in mobile segment to increase market share on desktops. On Internet Explorer 9, Krogh said, Microsoft was still ‘catching up’. “Though the user interface is simplified, IE 9 does not support standards to the extent of other browsers. They are still in the copy-cat mode,” he added.

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