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Opera iPhone browser hits 1 million downloads on first day

April 15, 2010 |  4:40 pm

It's not always easy to be a relatively unknown name in the tech industry. It's also difficult to be a successful developer when the application you're attempting to replace is made by Apple. But Opera, against tough odds, has overcome both of those challenges.Opera Mini

The browser maker announced Thursday that its Opera Mini browser, which allows users to surf the Web on their iPhones without using Apple's Safari browser, has tallied more than 1 million downloads in its first day of availability. As of this writing, Opera Mini is the most downloaded free application in the U.S. and all but three countries around the world where Apple's App Store is available.

Opera Mini's success on the iPhone cannot be understated. Even though Opera has enjoyed some success with its browser on the desktop, the company isn't a household name. And because the iPhone comes with Apple's own Web browser built in, some might wonder why downloading another Web-surfing app would be necessary.

Opera has been successful only because of the quality of its product. The Opera Mini browser is extremely fast and displays Web pages more efficiently in some cases than Apple's Safari browser. In my experience with the software, Opera Mini bests Safari on almost every important feature.

Whether Opera can maintain its high rate of downloads remains to be seen. But if it can, the company could find itself in an enviable position as a top browser in the extremely lucrative iPhone market.

-- Don Reisinger

Image: Some of the charts detailing Opera Mini's success in Apple's App Store. Credit: Apple