State of Opera (Q3 2010): Increases Revenue, But Fails to Gain New Desktop Users

Earlier in the day, I took a look at the State of Mozilla report, which highlighted impressive all around gains for the open source browser maker. Opera Software, one of the smaller competitors of Mozilla, also recently published its own financial report.

According to the third quarter (2010) report, Opera Software posted record revenues of 178.3 MNOK (million Norwegian krone), which is a 32% year on year growth. A major driving factor was partnerships with device manufacturers and telecom providers. Among others, Opera has partnerships telecom service providers like Telenor, Vodafone, AT&T, Sprint, MTC (MTS) and Virgin, and mobile phone manufacturers like HTC, LG, Motorola, Samsung and Sony Ericsson. Opera is also a player in the connected TV market, and licenses its technology to Phillips, Toshiba, Sharp, Thomson, Realtek and others.

State-of-Opera-Q3-2010-Users

Desktop revenue increased by 41%, whereas revenue from internet devices increased by 32%. Opera currently has more than 140 million users, with a vast majority of them being on Opera Mini. Unfortunately for Opera, although its revenue from desktop products increased, the number of users witnessed decrease in consecutive quarters. Opera Software is blaming this on seasonal variations, which sounds rather convenient. Seasonal fluctuations are generally small enough to be compensated by gaining a few million users. If they are significant to have a visible impact on Opera’s userbase, then that is because Opera has actually failed to reach out to a significant number of new users. Unless maintaining status quo is considered to be success at Opera, there is no hiding the fact that Opera is still failing to make its presence felt in the desktop segment. It’s also rather convenient that Opera is bringing up seasonal fluctuations now. No one mentioned it, when they were gaining users.

State-of-Opera-Q3-2010-Desktop

Of late, Opera Software has been making all the right moves with its desktop offering. In fact, Opera 11 alpha was downloaded 370,000 times in the first two days. I really hope that Opera 11 will help them in gaining more users. However, before that, they should be prepared to at least acknowledge exactly where they stand.

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