Opera Software is on a streak in India. It announced today seven new partnerships with India-based smartphone and tablet manufacturers, which would see its Opera Mini browser come pre-installed on a large number of future devices running Android, and 2 partnerships in Bangalore and Nepal respectively.
This comes just a few months after its collaboration with another seven Indian OEMs in May.
Opera’s latest batch of partners include Micromax — a handset manufacturer that has been threatening to tip Samsung off its leadership position in the Indian smartphone market. According to IDC data for Q2 2013, Samsung’s market share fell to 26 percent from 32.7 percent in Q1 2013. In contrast, Micromax increased its share to 22 percent from 18.8 percent.
Opera’s previous batch of partnerships also included Karbonn, which was the third-ranked handset manufacturer in India during Q2 2013 according to IDC, with a market share of 13 percent.
With all these partnerships, Opera Mini now has the potential to reach a huge part of the burgeoning Indian smartphone market. According to CyberMedia Research, smartphone shipments to India jumped 167 percent in January-April 2013 from the same period a year earlier, crossing 9.4 million units.
Sunil Kamath, vice president for Opera in South Asia, notes that since the start of this year, more than 100 Android devices with Opera Mini pre-installed on them have been launched in India, Bangladesh and Nepal. He says:
India is home to the largest number of Opera Mini users in the world. Partnering with local OEMs in India and neighboring countries is part of our growth strategy to take Opera Mini’s user numbers in the region from strength to strength.
With Opera’s new version of its Opera Mini browser, targeted at the low-end mobile phone sector, it is little wonder that India is one of the markets the Norwegian company is placing so much emphasis on — given that many in India are beginning to transition from feature phones to entry-level smartphones.
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