Opera browser "unstoppable" in India, heading for 100 million users – CEO

Opera browser "unstoppable" in India, heading for 100 million users – CEO
Artists use their mobile phones before the start of a religious procession on the occasion of Hanuman Jayanti festival in New Delhi April 15, 2014.

OSLO - Norway's Opera Software now targets 100 million Indian users for its mobile phone internet browser, after hitting the 50 million mark last month, Chief Executive Lars Boilesen told Reuters on Friday.

Smartphones are quickly becoming the product of choice in the rapidly growing Indian market, though Boilesen declined to give a specific date for when the browser downloads would double.

"We intend to get 100 million users there as quickly as possible. That's our focus now," he said in a telephone interview.

"It's an incredibly important market for us. I really don't think that people understand how big we are over there ... We are the third most downloaded app in India and we are larger than global giants like Gmail."

Opera's browser division specialises in compressing data to minimise download times and cost for subscribers, making it particularly popular in emerging market economies where network capacity can be constrained.

"If you look at the five fastest-growing markets for Android phones in the world, you will find that Opera is a top five player in all of them. That says something about how well positioned we are in the high-growth markets," Boilesen said.

By Opera's definition, India tops this list of fast-growing markets followed by Indonesia, Russia, Africa and Brazil.

"These top-five ... are characterised by Opera being pre-installed on all phones. All local manufacturers in India have Opera, but you will also see that so do major players like Samsung."

(Editing by Terje Solsvik)

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