Opera Launches App Store for Android, Blackberry

Opera has launched a mobile app store, featuring more than 140,000 free and paid apps for major mobile platforms. According to the company, Opera mobile store has been optimized for its Opera Mini and Opera Mobile browsers to provide speedy access to its 100 million users with just a click. The store can also be accessed through other browsers like Chrome and Firefox.

The store provides apps for every major platform (Android, BlackBerry, Palm, Symbian, and Windows Mobile) except Apple’s iOS. According to Opera’s executive vice president of consumer mobile Mahi de Silva, Opera will eventually integrate with Apple’s App Store in the future by providing links back to the App Store. The users will be able to browse through the iOS apps in Opera mobile app store before being directed to Apple’s store for actual purchases. Currently, this seems to be the only possible means of integration as Apple limits the sales of iOS apps by third-parties independently on their own.

In a statement, de Silva said.

We’re leveraging the history of Opera. In the past, we’ve focused on developing the best and most widely used browser, and we’re now expanding into services. We’re creating a service for users, but we’re also creating a device-agnostic app store for developers – so they can not only reach the 100 million who use Opera’s mobile browser, but people who use any browser.

Opera mobile store was developed using white label app store platform called Appia (previously known as Pocketgear) and serves catalogs of apps specific to your mobile OS, local language, and currency. Appia has powered more than 40 app stores including app stores for Samsung, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless and AT&T.

Before the official launch, the store was beta tested during the month of February. During that time the store attracted more than 15 million users from 200 countries with average daily downloads touching 700,000. Opera has also launched its Opera Publisher Portal where developers can publish and distribute their apps. Opera will take a 30 % cut from the net revenue of the apps.