Women flock to the mobile Web

New Opera State of the Mobile Web Report showcases greater gender equality

Oslo, Norway – August 26, 2010

In just two years, the number of women on the mobile Web has risen 575%, according to Opera’s State of the Mobile Web Report, published today. South Africa leads the world’s push for gender equality on the mobile Web, with women accounting for nearly 44% of mobile web users.

Opera’s State of the Mobile Web Report, published monthly, provides information on the top global trends affecting the mobile Web. The full report is available from http://www.opera.com/smw/ (English only). This month’s report includes the first results from a survey of more than 300,000 Opera Mini users, as well as a snapshot of mobile web trends in Southeast Asia.

Opera Mini demographics

Starting in late July and running over the course of several weeks, we conducted a survey to learn more about Opera Mini users around the world. In addition to collecting user demographic data for this report, the survey sought to quantify various aspects of their online/mobile lifestyle. Those lifestyle issues will be discussed in future reports, but one relevant question is discussed below as a special preview.


The survey, displayed to Opera Mini users on their handsets, was deployed in 9 languages (Russian, English, Indonesian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Portuguese, German, Polish and Japanese). Every Opera Mini user in those languages was offered the survey. Data was collected from users in 15 listed countries, as well as “other”. The data below is from the top 10 countries according to Opera Mini usage (as of June 2010).

As of 8/10/2010, over 300,000 survey responses were collected.


  • Using data from the top 10 countries, we estimated the global ratio of male to female mobile Web users to be 77% (male) to 23% (female). Two years ago, the ratio we reported was 88% (male) to 12% (female). While male users still clearly outnumber female users, females on the mobile Web are increasing at a faster rate – catching up to their male counterparts. Between May 2008 and July 2010, we estimate that the number of male users increased by 233%, while the number of female users increased by 575%. Looked at another way, the percentage of female users nearly doubled (from 12% to 23%) in that time period. This seems to indicate a trend towards greater gender equality when it comes to mobile Web browsing.
  • South Africa has the most female users (43.5%), followed by the United States (35.6%), Russia (32.4%) and the United Kingdom (31.5%).
  • India has the fewest female users (4.0%), followed by Nigeria (5.4%), China (11.6%) and Vietnam (17.9%).
  • Compared to the last time we surveyed Opera Mini users, some significant changes were observed. In Russia, the percentage of female users increased from 12.5% to 32.4%. In China, the percentage of female users increased from 5.5% to 11.6%. In the United States, the percentage of female users increased from 19.4% to 35.6%. In South Africa, the percentage of female users increased from 24.7% to 43.5%. In Ukraine, the percentage of female users increased from 8.5% to 24.2%. In the United Kingdom, the percentage of female users increased from 16.6% to 31.5%.
  • Ukraine and Vietnam have the most users under 18 (34.8% and 23.7%, respectively).
  • Across the board, 18-27 is still the biggest age group of Opera Mini users. That said, when looking at the previous survey results, one will notice that the under-18 user base in the United States and the United Kingdom grew (proportionally) at the expense of the 18-27 group.
  • The United States and the United Kingdom have a lot of users who are 38 and older (26% and 21%, respectively).

Lifestyle question

Users were asked “Do you have online friends you”ve never met in real life?”

In general, “yes” responses for this question were relatively common (the lowest rate of “yes” responses was 64.6% of respondents in the United Kingdom), indicating that mobile Internet users tend toward having online friends they have not met in person.

On the high end (more “yes” responses): Nigeria (87.3%), Indonesia (83.7%), and Ukraine (83.1%)

On the low end (fewer “yes” responses): United Kingdom (64.6%), United States (65.6%)

Global trends

  • In July 2010, Opera Mini had over 62.3 million users, a 4.8% increase from June 2010. Since July 2009, the number of unique users has increased 114.3%
  • Those 62.3 million active users viewed over 29.6 billion pages in July 2010. Since June, page views have gone up 8.5%. Since July 2009, page views have increased 146.3%.
  • In July 2010, Opera Mini users generated over 445 million MB of data for operators worldwide. Since June, the data consumed went up by 6.9%. Data in Opera Mini is compressed by up to 90%. If this data were uncompressed, Opera Mini users would have viewed over 4.1 petabytes of data in July. Since July 2009, data traffic is up 138.1%.
  • Kenya joins the list of top 10 countries for Opera Mini users, replacing Nigeria. The current top 10, in order, is: Indonesia, Russia, India, China, Ukraine, South Africa, the United States, Vietnam, the United Kingdom and Kenya.

Southeast Asia trends

  • The top 10 countries using Opera Mini in Southeast Asia are Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Brunei, Singapore, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.
  • Some numbers: From July 2009 to July 2010, page views in the top 10 countries in Southeast Asia increased by 238%, unique users increased by 205%, and the amount of data transferred increased by 227%
  • Growth rates in Southeast Asia: Malaysia and Singapore lead the top 10 countries of the region in terms of page-view growth (1,003.7% and 412.0%, respectively). Vietnam and Malaysia lead the top 10 countries of the region in growth of unique users (328.5% and 242.3%, respectively). Brunei leads the top 10 countries of the region in page views per user, with each user browsing 1,824 pages on average each month.
  • Google and Facebook compete for the top spot in several Southeast Asian countries. In Thailand and Laos, Google is #1, followed by hi5 and then Facebook. In Vietnam, where My Opera is very popular, Facebook is not in the top 10 list at all.
  • Opera Mini users in Southeast Asia tend to prefer Nokia handsets. That said, the Apple iPhone is the most popular handset used by Opera Mini users in both Singapore and Myanmar.

What we say

“We believe access to the Web is a universal right and the mobile Web is all about breaking down barriers to access,” said Jon von Tetzchner, co-founder, Opera Software. “Seeing more women on the mobile Web is important to ensuring the mobile Web remains the rich tapestry of ideas it is. Further diversity can only improve things for everyone.”

State of the Mobile Web Report archive: http://www.opera.com/smw/archive/