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Opera mobile browsers swap Yahoo for Google

Opera's Mobile and Mini Web browsers now will feature a Google search option on the start page, displacing Yahoo.

Opera Mobile is getting Google as its default search option. Opera

Opera has switched out Yahoo and made Google the default search engine for its Opera Mobile and Opera Mini Web browsers designed for mobile devices.

In January 2007, Yahoo and Opera announced that Yahoo would be the default search engine on Opera Mobile and Mini. Now, though, the mobile versions are getting what the desktop version of Opera has had for seven years--a built-in Google default.

Opera and Google "are extending this collaboration to give our users immediate access to the quality and convenience of Google's search results," Opera Chief Executive Jon von Tetzchner said in a statement Wednesday.

Yahoo said the change was on its own initiative, though it didn't offer details on what exactly it didn't find desirable about having its OneSearch mobile search service be selected by default.

"Yahoo has elected not to continue its mobile search partnership with Opera at this time," the company said in a statement. Yahoo has 29 carrier partnerships, and its "ability to partner with leading mobile operators and handset manufacturers enables us to lead and further the global mobile ecosystem."

Google search will be presented on the Opera browsers' start pages--except in Russia and other former Soviet republics, Opera said.

Opera Mini can be downloaded for free on mobile phones, and Opera Mini users collectively browse 1.7 billion Web pages per month, the Oslo, Norway-based company said.

Update 6:30 p.m. PT: I added Yahoo's comment that it chose not to continue the partnership and edited wording accordingly.