iPhone #1 Device for Opera Mini in U.S.? Not Really.

Opera is claiming this morning that iPhone users were just clamoring away for an alternative browser and when Opera Mini hit the app store this month, the iPhone vaulted to the number one spot, surpassing long-time holder of the number one spot, Blackberry.

While we can’t argue with the fact that Opera hit the top of the App Store in every country across the board, does this really translate into consistent users?

Opera was (surprisingly) accepted into the App Store just over two weeks ago and we, like millions of others, quickly downloaded the app to take a look and see if it would replace Safari as our default browser. But, as we noted then, being unable to make Opera Mini the default browser was one of our biggest issues with using the alternative browser.

So, although TechCrunch is reporting that the “iPhone Leapfrogs BlackBerry As The #1 Handset For Opera Mini In The US“, no numbers or qualifications behind this claim were provided. We gave Thomas Ford, senior communications manager for Opera, a call and asked how the company was coming up with this number.

Ford told us that typically the report covers the previous month but that since so many people were asking about Opera on the iPhone, they had looked at numbers from the past half a month for this report. And as far as the claim that iPhone was now ahead of Blackberry?

“That is in terms of unique users – people that have downloaded Opera Mini and viewed a page,” Ford said.

That means if you downloaded Opera Mini for the iPhone, gave it a shot and never looked back since, you’re included in this number. You are part of why the iPhone has jumped ahead of the long-standing leader in Opera Mini use, the Blackberry.

We asked Ford if he thought the iPhone would continue to hold the number one spot by next month’s Mobile Web Report, but he said that it was hard to speculate on how things would play out, adding that “the numbers will settle out over time to a more sustainable number.”

Everyone we casually asked about Opera Mini said they tried it out but haven’t switched over to using it as their default mobile browser. And while the app certainly has its benefits, we have to doubt that the iPhone will remain the number one device in the U.S. for Opera Mini use. Until the browser can be made the default browser on the iPhone and fixes its rather quirky zooming features, Safari is going to hold strong and Blackberry will regain its number one spot.

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