Opera announces the acquisition of FastMail.fm, a cloud-based e-mail provider, which it will use to extend its messaging portfolio to devices such as phones, televisions and gaming consoles. Opera has been expanding into the phone space, with its Opera Mini for the iPhone mobile browser being downloaded onto more than 1 million Apple devices within two days. According to analytics company StatCounter, Opera Mini is the most-used smartphone browser, with 24.6 percent of the market, followed by Apple's Safari browser for the iPhone with 22.3 percent.
Opera Software announced the acquisition April 30 of FastMail.fm, a
cloud-based e-mail provider. While Opera has offered an e-mail client with its
desktop browser for a number of years, the new acquisition will expand the
company's messaging-product portfolio to devices such as phones, televisions
and gaming consoles.
"The newest generation of Web users will discover the Web through a
mobile device," Rolf Assev, Opera's chief strategy officer, said in an
April 30 statement. "Having world-class messaging capability alongside a
rich and compelling Web experience is essential. By combining forces, Opera and
FastMail.fm can offer messaging on any device."
That could yield dividends for Opera as it seeks to expand. On April 13, the
company released Opera Mini for the iPhone, which was downloaded onto more than
1 million Apple devices within two days, making it the top-ranked mobile
application in Apple's App Store.
Mini for the iPhone shares many features
with other mobile versions of
Opera, including tabbed browsing, a focus on increased speed and 90 percent
data compression. Previously, Opera has released betas of Opera Mini 5 for
Google Android and Windows Mobile 5.x and 6.x smartphones.
Opera co-founder Jon von Tetzschner claimed in a March interview with eWEEK
that Opera's desktop-based and mobile browsers have between 120 million
and 150 million active users worldwide, a number he claimed was extrapolated
from data on Opera's servers. The browsers' strongest base currently exists in
Central and Eastern Europe, Africa
and Asia, which von Tetzschner suggested was responsible
for Opera being undercounted by analysis companies that sample largely from Western
Europe and North America.
In a bid to solidify its PC presence, Opera
released a new emulator:
"Developers can now install a full version of
Opera Mobile, as well as the Opera Widgets Mobile Emulator, and test Websites
from the comfort of their desktop computers," the company said in the
April 22 announcement.
According to analytics company StatCounter, Opera
Mini is currently the most-used smartphone browser,
with 24.6 percent of
the market, edging ahead of Apple's Safari browser for the iPhone, which has
22.3 percent. If both the iPhone and iPod Touch are included in those
calculations, Apple's share rises to 37.2 percent.