Opera becoming the de facto browser everywhere you don't expect the Internet

Software company Opera announced that its Web browser will be included in the Sprint 3G-connected Ford Work Soutions in-vehicle computer systems, and as a download for the Nintendo DSi that will be released in Europe tomorrow, and in the U.S. this Sunday.

In announcing the company's placement in the first 3G in-dash computer, Opera Americas' Software's Senior Vice President, Rod Hamlin said, "Opera's vision has always been about giving people access to the full Web anytime, anywhere. No example showcases this better than delivering a fast, feature-rich Web browser to a vehicle."

Opera already published a cartridge for the DS, called simply "Nintendo DS Browser" which was rather quickly discontinued in the United States, and it makes the only browser for the Wii. It is also used in Boeing and Airbus in-flight entertainment systems, in Telsey, Pirelli, and Amino set top boxes, and in PDAs like the Sharp Zaurus.

It certainly does find its way into every place that will support it. But does that add to the value of the browser, or does it detract?

In the desktop browser market, the introduction of Google's Chrome knocked Opera down to the fifth position in the top 5 with a 0.7% market share, and Opera Mini the number 8 position with a 0.07% share.

The mobile browser market, however, has proven considerably more difficult to track, as evidenced by recent reports that iPhone use constituted anywhere from 55% to 63% of all mobile browsing, and Android constituted between 5%-8%. The methodology used to determine these statistics was found to be faulty.

But with around 17 million iPhones shipped versus the over 120 million Opera Mobile devices shipped, this could signify that either the numbers are wrong, or being on more devices isn't necessarily as good as being on the right devices.

And when it is on the "right" devices, Opera is competing against the same giants it competes with on the desktop, and thusly falls back into its place in line.

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