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Opera Max data-saving app to come bundled on Samsung, Xiaomi phones

The Web browser's data-management app will be integrated on new phones from 14 Android smartphone makers, letting users shave up to 60 percent off their data usage.


Opera has plans to become more than just a Web browser. A new partnership with 14 electronics brands, including Samsung and Xiaomi, is one of the Norwegian company's biggest expansion moves yet.

The partnership will see Opera's data management app, Opera Max, be pre-installed on smartphones from different brands. The company expects that by 2017, over 100 million handsets will ship with its data-compression technology embedded.

Apart from big names like Samsung, Opera has signed up several Asian manufacturers. Included in these are Acer and Hisense, two successful electronics brands hoping to make a splash in the smartphone industry.

Opera says its Opera Max will help reduce data consumption by up to 50 percent across apps, while those watching video on Youtube or Netflix can reduce data consumption by up to 60 percent without "a noticeable loss of quality."

"Many users are wary of using mobile data for fear of spending too much or exceeding their data caps. We see OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] responding to this and stepping up to lower the barrier to mobile Internet access by providing a data-optimization solution on their devices," said Sergey Lossev, Opera Max's product manager in a statement.

The data savings from Opera Max will be particularly useful in developing countries in Asia, such as Indonesia, and emerging markets in Latin America and Africa, where mobile infrastructure struggles to handle the load, which has increased with the advent of popular sub-$100 Chinese-made smartphones.

Samsung is among the first to run with Opera Max, having launched its On series in India with the data compression app. Meanwhile, Xiaomi is currently beta testing the software on its MIUI7 operating system, a variant of Android, ahead of its launching products in Africa.