Opera Moves to Shore Up Mobile Position

Opera announced yesterday that it was releasing Opera Mobile 10 to carriers and device OEMs. According to the company's blog post:

This direct-to-distributor version is available on Android, BREW, Windows Mobile and Symbian/S60 smartphones and includes Opera’s new, cross-platform UI framework. As a part of Opera’s shift to unify the look and feel of its mobile browsers, the cross-platform UI framework allows operators and OEMs to implement the same user experience quickly and cost-effectively across their entire range of handsets.

Opera says it's already on 135 millionn handsets globally. While there are no other browsers on the iPhone (yet) Opera is available for Android, Windows Mobile, RIM and Nokia smartphones.

Mobile has been much more successful for Opera than the PC. In mobile the company has a leadership position in terms of number of installs. 

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BlackBerry, which the browser is already on but not part of the 10 release, is another key platform for Opera in the US and beyond.

Aggressive moves are necessary if the company wants to maintain its share and stay ahead of competitors. Android has its own browser for example. Users must be shown that using Opera offers a superior experience on those handsets. Window Mobile's browser is improving too. Eventually I believe Apple will allow other browsers into the App Store.

Firefox also has yet to show up in mobile in a big way. But the company promises to give Opera a run for its money as it expands out from this early beta stage.