February 10, 2011 / 1:58 PM / 7 years ago

Opera to roll out iPad browser

HELSINKI (Reuters) - The largest mobile Internet browser firm Opera Software ASA confirmed its entrance to the fast-growing tablet computer space and said it has reached a landmark 100 million cellphone users.

<p>The Opera Mini 5 browser for Apple's iPhone is seen in this undated handout photo. REUTERS/Opera Software ASA</p>

Opera, which has browsers for personal computers and mobile phones, said in a statement on Thursday the new version of Opera Mini for Apple’s iPad would ‘appear’ at the Mobile World Congress trade show next week in Barcelona.

Research firm Gartner has said it expects the market for tablet computers, created by Apple’s iPad, to rise to 55 million devices next year from 19.5 million this year.

The mobile Internet market has boomed since the introduction of Apple’s iPhone in 2007.

Opera has increased its lead over rival browsers -- from Blackberry maker RIM, Nokia, Google’s Android and Apple itself -- this year and controlled 21 percent of the market in February so far, according to Web analytics firm StatCounter.

The Blackberry, iPhone, Nokia and Android browsers all have 14.4 to 17.9 percent market shares.

Opera said it now has 90.4 million users for its lighter Opera Mini browser, while there are around 15 million users for its full Opera Mobile browser. (Reporting by Tarmo Virki; Editing by Dhara Ranasinghe)

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