Opera wants to monetize user base by offering app store
8 March 2011 by Olav Hellesø-Knutsen
Opera this week announced the opening of the Opera Mobile Store with paid and free applications for several mobile phone platforms
Opera has a very large user base. More than 90 million users use Opera Mini and approximately 15 million people use Opera Mobile each month. Their mobile browsers are available to a vast number of operating systems. Including Android, BlackBerry, Symbian, Palm, Windows Mobile and Java.
Opera Software is not setting up the app store themself. They are transfering this job to the company Appia, previously named PocketGear. The Appia Marketplace is the largest cross-platform catalog collection in the world with over 140.000 apps for more than 2.500 devices. Opera has set up the store through a strategic partnership with Appia. Any one interested should be able to do the same thing because Appia offers white label platform for their customers. Appia handles app submission and the billing solution. Developers signing up for with Opera are offered a 70% commission of the downloaded apps.
During the pre-launch state the Opera Mobile Store attracted more than 15 million users in February and over 700.000 apps were downloaded per day, making the Opera Store one of the worlds top-10 mobile applications store. Comparing this with Android Marketplace and the 9 million daily downloads per day or Nokias Ovi Store with 4 million per day, the Opera Mobile Store is a small player in this competitive market.
Opera will have a hard time competing with Android Market, Windows Marketplace and the other available app stores. The number of apps in Opera Mobile Store are smaller than those found in the native stores. Appia reports 140.000 apps while the other stores combined has over 700.000 apps available. We believe that those users downloading one of the Opera browsers themself not are novice and most of them, if not all are aware of the core stores offered by Nokia, Microsoft, Palm, Apple and Android. These are more likely to visit the full full range of available apps for their particular handset in the core stores insted of downloading apps from Opera.
Ease of access is one thing. The app price is another. We compared the 20 most popular paid apps in the Opera Mobile Store with Android Market and found that Opera Store mostly are charging the same ammount per app as Android Market. Buying all 20 apps from both stores would cost us 71 Euro in Opera Mobile Store and 42 Euro in Android market. The price gap was mostly caused by the fact that four of the 20 apps was available for free in the Android market. If we exclude these four, the price for the 16 apps was 44 and 42 Euro.
Even though this deal could generate some extra revenue for Opera, the stock exchange price was not liftet significant because of the agreement with Appia.
To promote the Mobile Store, Opera has added a one-click link to the store on the Speed Dial page of their Opera Mini and Opera Mobile browsers and with 105 million users some of them are likely to click the app link to buy an app or two.
The Opera Mobile Store is located at mobilestore.opera.com
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