(By Brindaa Lakshmi & Vikas SN)
Mobile browser maker Dolphin has launched a customized version of its mobile browser in India and is currently eyeing partnerships with Indian content providers, reports The Hindu Business Line.
While there is currently no information on who the company intends to partner with, a recent TechCrunch report suggests that the browser may provide content like cricket scores and information on Bollywood movies among others in India.
Remember that Dolphin browser also offers a web app store on its Android app, which claims to offer access to more than 200 web apps like Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, and Amazon, so its possible that the company will tie-up with Indian content providers to provide localized web apps for Indian users and also ink advertising deals for speed dial placements, similar to how Opera Mini had done with Hungama, Buongiorno, Cricbuzz and Vuclip among others.
Dolphin currently offers an iPhone, Android and iPad app with features like voice search, gesture based browsing, one tap share and saving and ability to sync browser tabs and bookmarks among others. It also offers an enterprise mobile web browser called Dolphin Business and has partnerships with companies like Aruba, Mocana, Symantec and Appsense to provide secured browsing in its browser.
It claims to have over 80 million installations on phones and tablets and its primary markets are USA, China and Japan, although the company notes that India is among its fastest growing markets. The company has also been entering into deals with search engines as a means of revenue. In September 2013, the company had entered into partnerships with DuckDuckGo in the United States, Yandex in Russia, and Baidu in China, with plans for further international expansion in the following months, although it faced criticism from several Dolphin browser users for partnering with these search engines in order to shun out Google.
This move comes at a time when the mobile browser market is dominated by players like UC Browser and Opera which also offer similar features and already have significant device and telco partnerships in place, for distribution.
Of note is the growth of UC Browser in India, which setup its second headquarters in India earlier in April and had announced plans to deploy a majority of its Rs 940 crore investment, meant for global operation expansion, in India to build a mobile Internet ecosystem in the country. In August 2013, UC Browser had claimed to have overtook Opera Mini as India’s top mobile browser and it had a market share of 30.88% in the country as compared to Opera Mini’s 27.85%, according to the web analytics firm StatCounter.
In September 2013, US based browser maker Maxthon had also partnered with RollTech, the value added services arm of the mobile chipset maker MediaTek, to bundle its Android browser to smartphones and tablets developed by RollTech’s device manufacturer partners. The company said this partnership is part of its mobile expansion in markets like India, Brazil and Russia among others and it will allow them to bundle its mobile browser to more than 100 million smartphones in 2014.
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