While there are plenty of alternative browsers available for Android users to pick from, it looks as if two of those have recently gotten together. Coming by way of an Opera issued press release, they have announced the acquisition of Skyfire. Based on details provided, Opera will be looking towards Skyfire's video optimization and smartphone monetization products.
The acquisition is expected to close on March 15, 2013 and according to Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera Software; "Opera and Skyfire are a natural fit." Boilesen went on to note that "both companies have evolved far behind their browser roots." But perhaps key here, Skyfire has something called the Rocket Optimizer software helps to minimize start times and also deals with rebuffering issues and unwelcome stops on audio and video streams. Opera has been known for their compression technology.
There are some other perks for Opera. Skyfire also has the Skyfire Horizon tool which is a mobile browser extension and toolbar. Not to mention, the Skyfire Horizon and Rocket Optimizer tools are in place with three US mobile operators and are currently in trials with another 10 global operators. Those agreements will likely benefit Opera. But basically, it was said that Skyfire will help the Opera portfolios dealing with video, app optimization, smartphones and tablets and in gereral increase their strength in North America.
The key for users of either browser, they will both remain. Opera noted that Skyfire will "remain an independent entity" and that they will "continue to develop and support the Skyfire browser." That is not to say we will not see them release something jointly in the future. While nothing specific has been given, the "coming year" could bring "a powerful new set of joint products."
The acquisition was for a mix of cash and stock with an upfront consideration of $50 million US. Otherwise, aside from the Skyfire acquisition, we also recently learned that Opera was going to be showing off their newest browser during Mobile World Congress.