• Opera to Release iPhone Browser Next Week

    Opera Mobile is the world's most popular browser for smartphones, with over 25 percent share according to StatCounter, as compared to Safari for iPhone OS which has just over 22 percent. Opera Software is about to open a new line of attack on Safari to solidify its mobile browser supremacy by releasing an iPhone version of its Opera Mini browser, despite the fact that Apple does not allow any browser but Safari on the iPhone.

    Jon von Tetzchner, the co-founder of Opera, said that the company would demonstrate Opera Mini for iPhone to journalists and business partners, but did not indicate whether the app would be released to the App Store or offered for sale at all. It will be "a unique opportunity to introduce the fast, feature-rich Opera Mini experience for the iPhone," von Tetzchner said, "and to showcase our latest beta releases of Opera Mobile and Opera Mini on other platforms and devices."

    Opera Mini is the free version of the company's Opera Mobile browser. Both apps use a proxy server to compress and reformat web pages before they are transmitted to the phone. Opera said that its own tests indicate that Opera Mini is up to six times faster than Apple's Safari browser on the iPhone.

    Opera spokeswoman Julie Sajnani told ZDNet UK that the company has not yet submitted the browser to Apple's App Store, but said that she hopes "Apple will not deny their users a choice in web-browsing experience." Apple does have a pretty clear history of blocking any app it thinks duplicates the functionality of any native iPhone app. Paolo Pescatore, an analyst at CCS Insight, told Computerworld that in his estimation "it is highly unlikely that Opera Mini will be approved."
    Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

    the unveiling is scheduled to take place at an exclusive press and partner preview during the 2010 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain on Monday, February 15.

    image via GSMWorld
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