The third screen is making headway in Africa. That comes as no surprise, and as I’ve previously posted much of my excitement about the mobile phone is that it has the potential to do much more than be a mere communication device. The mobile phone has the potential to connect people, of course, but it can also be a way to deliver news and entertainment to people who might never own a television or computer, and live in fairly remote areas.
This week, Opera Software ASA released its latest State of the Mobile Web report, and the company reports that Africa is seeing exponential grown. The September 2008 study, which focused on the African continent, found that Web browsing on the mobile phone now far exceeds traditional desktop-computer surfing.
Additionally, according to the data from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the mobile industry in Africa is also expanding at nearly double the global rate. And while personal computer penetration remains low across the continent, Africans are using mobile phones to get online.
Of course many of the findings were specific to the Opera browser, and this is worth noting. Interestingly, this recent report found that Egypt has preempted Germany as the world’s 10th largest user of the Opera Mini browser for mobile phones, while South Africa remains among the top 10 international users, currently ranked sixth.
Key findings of the study found:
- Opera Mini use in Africa increased by 180 percent from January 2008 to September 2008
- Globally, 19 million people used Opera Mini in September 2008, a 341 percent increase from September 2007
- Opera Mini users accessed 4.5 billion pages in September 2008, a 420 percent increase from September 2007
- In September, Opera Mini’s 19 million users generated more than 65.2 million MB of data for operators worldwide
Check back tomorrow when I’ll post an interview with Jon von Tetzchner, CEO of Opera Software ASA, about the state of the mobile Web.