Smart browsing in Africa

New mobile browsing research at Africa Com conference

Oslo, Norway – November 10, 2010

Users of Opera Software’s mobile web browsers are more likely to engage in smartphone-like behavior on their feature phones, according to new findings announced today at an exclusive mobile operators event at Africa Com in Cape Town, South Africa.

Research by independent U.K. mobile research company, On Device Research, found that users of the Opera Mini mobile browser are more likely than users of other mobile browsers to engage in two-way interaction with web content rather than simply viewing it. This includes contributing to social networks, using email, and downloading or purchasing items online. These behaviors are more typical on smartphones, which have higher connectivity and greater similarity to a desktop browsing experience, although a huge 85 percent of research respondents used a standard feature phone to browse.

The research aimed to uncover how users of different mobile browsers interact with the Web. More than 7000 people in seven African countries (Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania) completed the survey on their mobile handsets. Respondents were weighted by mobile device manufacturers and demographics to ensure a balanced sample. The survey was deployed in English, French and Arabic between October 25 and November 7.

The research found that those who use Opera Mini, in comparison to those who use other mobile browsers, were:

  • 33 percent more likely to visit social-networking sites on their mobile phones
  • 39 percent more likely to use email and more likely to use instant messenger sites such as MXit
  • 37 percent more likely to visit sites for downloading music and 35 percent more likely to purchase music online
  • 25 percent more likely to use search
  • 29 percent more likely to purchase mobile games, 26 percent more likely to visit websites for downloading applications, 16 percent more likely to visit sites for downloading games and 15 percent more likely to purchase wallpapers and graphics on their mobile.

Consuming a large variety of content is also typical of a smartphone-like browsing experience. As well as all the online activities listed above, users of Opera Mini were also more likely than non-users to visit websites for world and local news, sports news and entertainment news.

Those getting online with Opera Mini also surf more often, with Opera users 18 percent more likely to browse the mobile Web every day.

The Opera Mini browser works on more than 3000 different mobile phone models, from basic feature phones to high-end smartphones. It has many of the renowned features of Opera desktop products, including tabbed browsing, password manager, bookmarks and Speed Dial. It has the same user interface as Opera’s smartphone browser, Opera Mobile. The unique Opera Mini technology compresses web content by up to 90 percent before sending it to the phone, resulting in faster page loading and lower browsing costs. Opera Mini is the world’s most popular browser with more than 71 million monthly users, and is available as a free download at

“It is rewarding to see that Opera Mini empowers users in Africa to make their mobile web-browsing experience more than a one-way street,” said Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera Software. “Offering users a smartphone-like or even desktop-like experience on their standard phones allows a wider range of people on a wider range of devices to contribute to and truly be part of the Web.”

Happy browsing

The research also found that African users of Opera Mini are more satisfied with their mobile phone and surfing experience than users of other mobile browsers.

  • Users of Opera Mini in Africa achieved a “Net Promoter” score of 22 percent, a huge 325 percent higher than the equivalent score for users of other browsers. The Net Promoter score is a measure of how likely users are to recommend the mobile Internet to friends and family.
  • Opera users were more satisfied with their mobile phones and their mobile operators, and less likely to want to stop using their current mobile operator.

“Opera Mini users are not only using and enjoying the Web from their mobile phones, but also actively informing those around them about mobile web access and the opportunities it brings,” said Alistair Hill, Managing Director, On Device Research. “Both Opera Mini and its users help extend the reach of the Web.”

Community spreading the word: download photos from the Opera information booth at ICT Day at Maseno University in Kenya, hosted by the student volunteers in the Opera Campus Crew.

Meet Opera at Africa Com

This is Opera Software’s second appearance at the annual Africa Com event (November 10-11 at the Cape Town International Convention Center), which aims to drive the next stage of growth in African telecommunications. Visit Opera Software’s booth at Africa Com to get your hands on an Opera-powered device and see mobile browser demos. Stop by our booth at stand P73 in the exhibition area, beside the Hall 2 Entrance.

About On Device Research

On Device Research uses the mobile Internet to gain consumer research from previously unconnected consumers. Launched in September 2010, studies have already been completed in countries ranging from Angola, Kenya, South Africa, Senegal, India, Indonesia, Russia, the United Kingdom and United States.