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Opera’s Handster Deal Could Mean Smaller Role for Appia

Appia, which has been powering Opera’s mobile app store, may see its role reduced in the wake of Monday’s announcement that Opera is buying Handster.

Opera launched its mobile store in March, offering apps for BlackBerry, Android and Symbian, among other platforms.

“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,” Opera CEO Lars Boilesen said in a statement. Based in Northbrook, Illinois, Handster powers app stores for various carriers and device makers, including Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Huawei and LG.

Asked what the deal might mean for Appia, an Opera representative told AllThingsD, “We will continue to work with Appia in a limited capacity, but long term, we will rely more on our own technology and team.”

An Appia representative did not immediately have a comment.

Update: Appia VP Dov Cohn said in a statement to AllThingsD that “Appia continues to power the Opera Mobile Store, and Opera remains one of several key partners of Appia’s that includes Vodacom, Zedge, Telcel and others.”


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