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Opera Software has just announced the launch of its mobile appstore through a strategic partnership with Appia, the leading provider of open application marketplace technology.

According to the press release,

“This storefront is a featured Speed Dial link in the Opera Mini and Opera Mobile browsers, which makes the storefront immediately accessible by more than 100 million people who use an Opera browser on their mobile phones.”

The new Opera Mobile appstore offers both paid and free apps designed for a variety of phones running on Java, Symbian, BlackBerry, Android, and Windows Mobile OS.

“The launch of the Opera Mobile Store supports Opera’s core belief in an open, cross-platform mobile Internet experience by providing Opera users with an integrated storefront of mobile applications,” Mahi de Silva, executive vice president for Opera’s Consumer Mobile group, said in a statement. “Our partnership with Appia delivers to all Opera Mobile and Opera Mini users easy access to a wide variety of great content, on any device, all over the world.”

Opera Software also launched the Opera Publisher Portal which provides developers with an easy way to get their applications onto the Opera Mobile Store and in front of millions of Opera users every month.

My Thoughts

Opera’s move is a smart one and one that’ll drive more competition in the over-crowded, yet Apple-dominated appstores space.

While I think that this could be bad news for Nigerian would-be appstores, it could also create collaboration amongst some of them.

What do we need 5-10 appstores for in a relatively non-existent apps market and ecosystem, when we can collaborate our efforts, time and resources to manage one for local apps?

Yet, a Nigerian appstore would still need some differentiation strategy to succeed.

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