Opera moves into mobile services, buys cross platform app store Handster

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Opera moves into mobile services, buys cross platform app store Handster
Despite being primarily known for its web browsers, Opera has boosted its distribution business, acquiring Handster, an app store platform company that claims the largest independent Android content library.

Handster is based in Illinois, US, though also with an office in Odessa, Ukraine, and provides content for Android, Java, Symbian, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, netbook and tablet platforms.

Handster CEO and founder Victor Shaburov will be joining the Opera team at its San Mateo headquarters in California.

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"Opera is evolving from being a browser company into a fully integrated mobile services company and this acquisition is an important step in that direction." said Opera CEO Lars Boilesen.

"We are delighted to welcome the Handster team into the Opera family. Handster will enable us to strengthen our mobile store offerings to consumers, mobile operators and handset manufacturers,"

Shaburov was also excited by the future prospects for Handster and Opera after the buyout.

"Handster could not have found a better suitor," he said.

"The combination of our platform, along with Opera's position in the market, will make a big impact on the mobile ecosystem, benefiting developers, publishers, operators and handset manufacturers around the world."

Opera opened its own app store in March 2011, using white label outfit Appia, partly to push the distribution of its mobile browsers. 

It recently got kicked out of GetJar for distributed its own app store though the rival.

[source: Opera]

When Matt was 7 years old he didn't write to Santa like the other little boys and girls. He wrote to Mario. When the rotund plumber replied, Matt's dedication to a life of gaming was established. Like an otaku David Carradine, he wandered the planet until becoming a writer at Pocket Gamer.