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Opera Adds Shopping, Media To Mobile Browser

Opera Software said Wednesday that it has updated its Opera Mini browser for mobile phones by adding the ability to download music and image files and to conduct certain types of shopping.

The Norwegian software vendor said that the software has garnered more than 2.5 million users worldwide since its initial release last January. Besides the ability to download multimedia files, the new version enables users to purchase phone-related items such as ringtones from a Web site and have those items delivered via Short Message Service (SMS), the company said. The charge for both the message and the purchased item then appears on the user's regular cell phone bill.

In a statement, an Opera Software executive said that Opera Mini is an important product because it enables Web browsing by cellular subscribers who don't have sophisticated mobile devices such as smartphones.

"Opera Mini has kick-started real mobile Web browsing by enabling non-smartphone owners to surf the full Internet on their phones, just as they do on their PCs," Jon S. von Tetzchner, Opera's CEO, said in a statement.
The browser is available from the company's Web site. Opera doesn't charge for the browser, although download fees from cellular carriers may apply.