Remember how I wrote about why widgets are important to Opera? If you are only using a PC the benefits of widgets may not be immediately apparent, but if you consider Opera as a cross-platform application platform, things start to make more sense. For the big picture, please read that blog post.
If it still doesn't quite make sense to you, perhaps a specific example will help. …
Orange designed and built their own user interface for the Tabbee using the Opera Devices SDK. Their designers could easily make their vision come to life by using open Web technologies running on top of Opera's browser engine.
And since they used Opera, they automatically had a large number of applications available for installation. Those applications, of course, are widgets.
How much longer would it take, and how much more expensive would it be, if they designed the device the old way? What kind of effort would it take to convert old-style native applications to the new operating system?
If they choose to make more devices in the future, they will still have all those applications (widgets) available. They can easily use the foundation they laid with the Tabbee UI and simply start using it on new devices. All they need is the browser engine.
And as browser technologies mature and become more capable, more advanced and rich applications (widgets) can be created. Think about all the things that are going on at the moment: HTML5, hardware acceleration, 3D on the Web, and so on.
We are just getting started.