When Opera submitted an iPhone version of its Opera Mini mobile browser to the App Store a few weeks ago, many doubted the app would earn a pass through Cupertino’s pearly gates. The doubters were wrong, and Opera Mini is now live at the Apple App Store for free.
Opera currently boasts more than 50 million users of Opera Mini worldwide. The company employs a data compression technology that it says results in faster page loads. Opera says that users will notice an uptake in speed, especially on slower networks such as the EDGE network.
“We are delighted to offer iPhone and iPod touch users a great browsing experience with the Opera Mini App. This app is another step toward Opera’s goal of bringing the Web to more people in more places,” said Lars Boilesen, CEO of Opera Software, in a statement.
Questions about whether Apple would approve Opera Mini for the iPhone centered around the company’s history of rejecting apps that mimic, duplicate or alter any of the device’s core applications and functions. When Apple blocked Google Voice, it told the FCC in a letter that it had done so because the app “appears to alter the iPhone’s distinctive user experience by replacing the iPhone’s core mobile telephone functionality and Apple user interface with its own user interface for telephone calls.”
The assumption was that Opera Mini, which replaces, or at least duplicates, the iPhone’s core Safari-based browsing functionality, would fall under that same categorization.
Look for a review of the new Opera Mini Browser for iPhone at www.wirelessweek.com later today.