Opera Software launches app store, gets booted from GetJar

Mobile browser kingpin Opera Software is the latest entrant into the crowded app store segment, teaming with white-label storefront solutions provider Appia to roll out the Opera Mobile Store. Promising both free and premium applications optimized for the Android, BlackBerry, Symbian and Java platforms, the Opera Mobile Store is customized to each user's handset, promising a catalog determined by the device's operating system as well as local language and currency. Opera will spotlight the storefront as a featured Speed Dial link in its Opera Mini and Opera Mobile browsers, although the service is also accessible across devices running non-Opera browsers.

Developers will earn 70 percent of net revenues generated via the Opera Mobile Store. Opera said that during February pre-launch trials, the Opera Mobile Store attracted more than 15 million users from 200 countries, with downloads exceeding 700,000 per day. In association with the storefront's official opening, Opera introduced its Opera Publisher Portal initiative, promising developers the tools to add their own applications to the store's inventory--for more information, click here.

Hours after the Opera Mobile Store officially launched, cross-platform applications storefront GetJar removed the Opera Mini browser from its catalog. "Due to violations of our [terms and conditions] Opera Mini has been banned from GetJar," GetJar tweeted Tuesday. "Download Bolt, UCweb, Dolphin, Layar or Sqauce and others as needed." Subsequent tweets identified the new Opera Mobile Store as the culprit: "[Opera] placed an app store in their browser. One thing we can't do is promote competing app stores ;)," GetJar tweeted Tuesday evening. A subsequent post reads "We all have to make a living."

GetJar chief marketing officer Patrick Mork further addressed Opera Mini's removal in a blog entry."The simple problem is that Opera Mini decided to include a competing app store in its browser," Mork writes. "Although we don't have any issue with this in principle, in practice it means that consumers might start using this app store instead of visiting GetJar to get their favorite apps. This robs GetJar of traffic and therefore of the advertising necessary to keep our service free for the more than 25 million consumers that use GetJar. It also jeopardizes an ecosystem that has generated over 1.6 billion downloads for tens of thousands of developers who depend on us to make money from their apps." Mork adds that GetJar spent "many months" in talks with Opera to avoid the scenario now unfolding.

Last month, Opera Software announced that more than 100 million mobile subscribers worldwide access its Opera browser each month: Opera Mini now boasts 90.4 million monthly users globally, with Opera Mobile adding roughly 15 million, extending Opera's combined reach to 105 million mobile consumers. Mork noted that GetJar alone accounts for more than 30 million Opera Mini downloads.

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