Opera buys app-store developer Handster

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14:11 CEST+02:00
Norwegian browser and mobile services outfit Opera has bought up specialist US-based programming house Handster Inc. for an undisclosed sum.

Opera used available cash stores to buy a company it said on Monday offers an entire "platform" for mobile application stores, a key capability as Opera moves into fully integrated mobile services from online browser ware.

“This gives us more control of the mobile business and will allow us to give our users and (mobile network) operators a better user experience,” company finance director Erik Carson Harrell told

Opera’s shares in Oslo fell nearly 2 percent on the news.

Handster is based in Northbrook, Illinois but has operations in Odessa, Ukraine. The company now accesses “the world’s largest independent Android content library” along with mobile operator services, device manufacturers and application stores around the world. The company’s offerings include an app store platform, content management, developer tools, and financial settlement services.

The Handster platform supports Google Android, Java, Symbian, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, netbook and tablet applications. Customers include device manufacturers such as MTS, Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Huawei and LG.

“Handster could not have found a better suitor,” company founder and chief executive Victor Shaburov said in a statement

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“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.”

Shaburov will move to San Mateo, California, USA, to join Opera’s “mobile consumer and publisher” management team.

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