Celkon, Karbonn, Lava and Intex will install Opera Mini as the exclusive third-party browser on all Android devices. Opera Mini will also be preinstalled on select Android devices by Fly and Zen, as well as on HCL ME tablets.
Opera Mini is one of the most widely used mobile web browser in the country, because it compresses web pages which are best suited on low speed networks. It uses a server to pre-process and compress websites to as little as 10% of their original size before sending them to the mobile device. Browsing on Opera mini is also cost effective.
“The number of Indians accessing the web from mobile devices is growing at a much faster rate than those using a computer. This unique environment has made it essential for handset manufacturers to ensure their upcoming mobile devices are web enabled and are ready to deliver the best browsing experience,” says Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera Software.
India is home to the largest number of Opera Mini users in the world, according to the latest state of Android mobile web in India report.
The tie up with OEMs is pretty wise move on the part of Opera. Most Indians have never visited the Play Store and rely on pre-installed apps that come with their device. A report at the beginning of the year stated that only half of the smartphone users studied had an active data connection on their phones.
App developers partnering with OEMS to have their apps pre installed is an increasing trend we are seeing these days.
Last year, Opera partnered with Samsung to pre-install the Opera mini browser on three of their feature phones, the Samsung Star 3, Star 3 Duos and the Champ Deluxe Duos. Opera has also inked a partnership with Airtel to offer a customized and co-branded version of Opera Mini internet browser for Airtel mobile customers across its operations.
Nokia recently announced that the Nokia Asha 210 would come with a dedicated WhatsApp button. A recent PTI report also stated that Nokia will pre-load the hike messaging app on Lumia 510, Lumia 720 and all its Nokia Asha Full Touch phones to be sold in India.
While this is generally good, it should not lead to bloat ware especially on some devices which come with very little space. OEMs should also give an option for users to uninstall pre-installed apps which they might not deem useful.