Dirson reports that Opera (the browser company) Google will be the default search tool on all of Opera's mobile browsers including the new Opera Mini set for release next month. The TechWeb article: Google To Supply Search For Opera's Mobile Browsers, has more.
From the article:
[Opera CEO Christian] Jebsen said users of Opera Mini can still use the more established way of accessing a search engine, simply by calling up book-marked search engines. He noted that Opera is comfortable with Google as a partner because it has had a good working relationship with the search colossus for several years.
I can't say this comes as a surprise. As Jebsen notes Google and Opera have worked together for several years. Until earlier this year when the Opera browser became available at no charge (sans ads), Google paid listings were visible on the free version of the Opera. Also, Google is included as a search option with the desktop version of Opera.
As Om points out in this interesting post, it was Google that helped Opera become a free tool. He writes:
...I found out that the decision to give away the browser came after the company struck ?compensation deals? with some of the search engines. Apparently, the premier tenant for browser?s built-in search window, is Google. ?The current most important deal now is with Google,? company spokesperson Eskil Siversten wrote in an email. The company indicated that it has similar referral-for-dollars agreements with the likes of eBay and Amazon.