Opera buys a Netflix-style smartphone app service

You may associate Opera with data-saving web browsers and handy compression tools, but the company is determined to make more of a name for itself in smartphone apps, too. Opera just bought Bemobi, a mobile app discovery service that thrives on a Netflix-like app subscription service — pay a weekly fee on your phone bill and you get to use as many “premium” apps as you like.

The deal not only gives Opera a fresh way to offer apps beyond its usual app store, but gives it a huge footprint in Latin America, where Bemobi already has deals with major carriers. Don’t be surprised if you soon have a way to experiment with paid apps and games without paying full price for each and every one.