Opera Software, the Norway-based browser maker, announced the opening of its Mobile App Store today. The store, which the company launched in conjunction with Appia, the "largest open application marketplace in the world," will provide apps to Opera's mobile browser users across a number of platforms.
According to the company, the store has already been a hit and its placement in its popular mobile browsers should ensure that it continues with this success.
Both the Mobile and Mini versions of Opera, which have more than 100 million mobile users worldwide and run on a variety of feature and smartphones, will highlight the store as a "Speed Dial" link. This will put the store front and center, where users can choose from "a wide catalog of applications for phones with Java, Symbian, BlackBerry and Android operating systems."
The store is available in more than 200 countries and during its pre-launch phase it was accessed by 15 million users, hitting 700,000 downloads per day.
Opera uses data compression to increase performance on slower phones and mobile networks, so much of its use is seen on feature phones. According to one recent report, the mobile phone market's nearly 20% growth in the fourth quarter of 2010 was not solely a result of smartphone sales. Both Opera, and its Mobile App Store, could benefit from the continued growth in lower-cost feature phones in emerging markets.