Google will replace Yahoo as the main search engine in the mobile versions of the Opera web browser.

From 1 March, if you use Opera Mini or Opera Mobile you’ll see a Google window when you access the search function. Opera finalised the deal with Google yesterday and is now dumping Yahoo’s services.

Opera Mobile currently runs on some 100 million phones from the likes of Motorola and Sony Ericsson. Around 35 million other mobile users have also downloaded the Opera Mini mobile web browser, statistics show.

Mobile products

"Google and Opera have established a valuable relationship over the years and we look forward to continued collaboration on mobile products," Jon von Tetzchner, Opera’s CEO, said in a statement.

"With 2008 poised to be the year the mobile web goes mainstream, Google and Opera are extending this collaboration to give our users immediate access to the quality and convenience of Google's search results. We're excited to extend this productive relationship and we hope that the nearly 100 million people using our mobile products will agree."

Search companies are starting to realise the power of the mobile internet market as the race between them for pole position becomes more competitive. Google has also signed a deal with Nokia for its search engine to become standard on certain Nokia handsets.

Yahoo isn’t losing out entirely though – it has just signed a deal with T-Mobile to become the default search engine on its European handsets. The search firm is also in partnership with US phone giant AT&T.