Mobile search grows rapidly worldwide

Opera Mini users prefer Google on a global basis, although local preferences remain strong

June 25, 2009 – Oslo, Norway

Google is the preferred search engine according to the newest State of the Mobile Web report by Opera. The report provides information on the top global trends affecting the mobile Web. The full report is available from (English only). In addition to the top global trends and country snapshots, the report highlights trends in Southeast Asia and this month includes a special spotlight on search engine usage on the mobile Web.

Global trends

  • In May 2009, Opera Mini had nearly 25.4 million users, an 8.4% increase from April 2009 and more than 136% compared to May 2008. These numbers reflect only the Opera Mini users who have specifically chosen to install the browser on their phone.
  • Those 25.4 million Opera Mini users viewed over 9.6 billion pages in May 2009. Since April, page-views have gone up 11.0%. Since May 2008, page-views have increased 227%.
  • Opera Mini users generated nearly 160 million MB of data for operators worldwide in May 2009. Since April, the data consumed went up by 5.6%. Data in Opera Mini is compressed up to 90%. If this data were uncompressed, Opera Mini users would have viewed up to 1.5 PB of data inMay. Since May 2008, data traffic is up 245%.
  • In the top 10 list of countries, India moved up, switching spots with Ukraine. Poland also went up, pushing Nigeria down to the tenth spot.

Mobile Search trends

  • Google continues to assert itself as a global leader in search, but Yandex and Baidu continue to be the top players in Russia and China, respectively, and Yahoo is particularly strong in Indonesia and Nigeria.
  • Opera Mini users in India and Nigeria are the biggest users of search portals. In India, 16.3% of page-views are from search portals, and users viewed an average of 63.7 search-portal pages per month. In Nigeria, 26.6% of page-views are from search portals, and users viewed an average of 49.6 search portal pages per month.
  • Opera Mini users in Ukraine use search portals the least: 0.7% of page-views are from search portals, and users only view an average of 4.3 search portal pages per month.

Southeast Asia trends

  • The top 9 countries using Opera Mini in Southeast Asia are Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Brunei, Singapore, Cambodia and Laos.
  • From May 2008 to May 2009:
    • Overall page-views in the top 9 countries listed increased 459%.
    • Overall unique users in the top 9 countries listed increased 119%.
    • Overall data transferred in the top 9 countries listed increased 271%.
  • Since our last spotlight on Southeast Asia, Vietnam jumped from #5 to #2 and the Philippines jumped from #6 to #3.
  • Growth rates in Southeast Asia remain high: Vietnam leads the top 9 countries with 412.9% growth in users this year, followed by the Philippines (353.6% growth) and Malaysia (249.6% growth).
  • In our previous Southeast Asia spotlight (October 2008), Indonesia led the way, with each user viewing 358 pages on average. In May 2009, that figure was surpassed in 3 countries–Indonesia (420 page-views per user), the Philippines (705 page-views per user) and Brunei (461 page-views per user).
  • In Southeast Asia, among mobile Web users, Google is the dominant player in the search engine space, with Yahoo in second place.
  • Friendster continues to be popular in Southeast Asia, but Facebook has made significant strides, especially in Indonesia–where it finally broke through Friendster’s previous dominance of the number 1 spot.
  • Nokia handsets continue to be dominant in Southeast Asia, followed by Sony Ericsson.

Supporting quote

“Searching the Web via a mobile device presents an enormous opportunity for both search engines and consumers,” said Jon von Tetzchner, CEO, Opera. “Almost all search engines are moving forward to offer relevant and timely information based on location. Yet, consumers prefer services from the search engines they already know and use. As the mobile Web becomes more pervasive and more people have their first experience on the Web from a mobile device, it will be fascinating to see how these habits might change. We are certainly only at the beginning of the mobile Web revolution.”