State of the Mobile Web, March 2012

A look at the Opera Mini and Mobile users

Are Opera Mini users globally alike? Are they different from consumers using other mobile browsers on the same devices? These are both interesting questions answered in a survey from market research company On Device Research, looking into the habits of Opera Mini and Opera Mobile users and users of other devices all over the world.

Interestingly, there are significant differences between the users, and Opera users stand out in several areas. Opera users are, according to the survey, a young and innovative crowd, at least compared to users of other browsers on mobile devices. However, the differences are not the same for all countries. The survey observed variations on age cohorts in different countries, where some countries have an older crowd than others.

The Opera crowd also seems to be more educated than users of other browsers on the same platforms. “Opera users are 18% more likely than users of other browsers to be students/engaging in educational activities (and 6% more likely to be in education or employed),” writes On Device Research in its report.

In the white paper published by Opera Software, the breakdown shows significant distinctions in user habits between different countries and user groups. Users in the Philippines and Brazil are, e.g., the most active in social networking, while the Bangladeshi love to use their mobile phones as a gaming platform.

Active surfers

According to the survey, Opera users surf more and longer with their mobile phones, using them as a primary internet platform: “Opera users are eight percentage points more likely than average to spend more than an hour online in one session and 12 percentage points more likely than non-Opera users.” A whopping 75% of the surveyed persons say they use a mobile phone to surf on a daily basis. This strongly correlates with an increase in consumption of applications and other downloadable offerings on the internet. The Opera users surveyed reveal that they are more likely to purchase and download content like music to their phones.

In the data gathered from the Opera Mini servers, where anonymous aggregated data is collected, we see that mobile content stores are well represented in the global statistics of top domains visited by Opera Mini users. The Opera Mobile store is highly popular in growth regions, with India heading up the top spot of content downloading just ahead of Indonesia. The top content for downloading is by far games applications, ahead of utility applications. While social-networking sites such as Facebook, vKontakte and Twitter dominate the top of the list along with search sites, the content sites are among the top 25 global sites visited. Roughly half of the top 15 countries in the Opera Mini list have sites like Opera Mobile Store and other mobile content providers listed in the top domain ranking.

Connecting the unconnected

With Opera, a whole new group of consumers is reached, according to the survey. For many users, the step to the connected world does not involve expensive PCs, but goes straight to the mobile connected world. An example from three rapidly growing Opera Mini markets: “In India, Indonesia and Pakistan, the mobile phone is the primary, and often only, way users access the internet, at 40%, 48% and 48%, respectively,” according to the survey.

Read the whole white paper (2.2MB PDF).


In March 2012, the Opera Mini browser saw increases in unique users, page views and data consumed. In all, more than 168 million people used the Opera Mini browser in March, 117 billion pages were served and more than 19 petabytes of operator data were compressed for Opera Mini users. The total number of monthly Opera Mini users exclude Opera Mini Next installations.

Number of users

In March 2012, there were over 168.8 million Opera Mini users, a 5.5% increase from February 2012. Since March 2011, the number of unique users has increased more than 64%.

Pages transcoded

Opera Mini users viewed over 117 billion pages in March 2012. Since February 2012, page views have gone up more than 8.1%. Since March 2011, page views have increased 96%.

MonthPage views
March 2012117,133,940,573
February 2012108,322,127,981
January 2012108,711,984,250
December 2011103,156,318,112
November 201188,516,536,629
October 201186,241,891,002
September 201179,164,254,190
August 201179,594,255,478
July 201174,078,891,600
June 201167,303,912,324
May 201163,386,735,162
April 201157,935,683,078
March 201159,768,735,532
February 201151,531,490,158
January 201152,377,317,703
December 201046,725,301,390
November 201044,652,355,113
October 201041,623,101,976
September 201036,972,736,551
August 201033,923,604,102
July 201029,679,113,203
June 201027,350,331,025
May 201028,325,159,098
April 201026,311,685,380

Data consumed

In March 2012, Opera Mini users generated over 1,918 million MB of data for operators worldwide. Since February, the data consumed went up by 0.1%. Data in the Opera Mini browser is compressed by up to 90%. If this data were uncompressed, Opera Mini users would have viewed over 19.18 petabytes of data in February. Since March 2011, data traffic is up more than 118.39%.

MonthData transfer (MB)
March 20121,918,118,366
February 20121,916,961,696
January 20121,831,047,506
December 20111,663,600,099
November 20111,421,897,839
October 20111,360,336,480
September 20111,251,149,418
August 20111,232,303,979
July 20111,170,603,288
June 20111,068,360,258
May 20111,031,183,476
April 2011954,840,197
March 2011946,210,968
February 2011790,192,801
January 2011804,000,878
December 2010706,327,921
November 2010677,508,852
October 2010616,192,761
September 2010535,337,310
August 2010489,402,631
July 2010445,158,599
June 2010416,406,077
May 2010433,688,140
April 2010398,617,291

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For more information about the State of the Mobile Web report, please contact Pål Unanue-Zahl palu[at], +47 2369 2400.

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