Opera on the iPhone Soon?
- Wed 5 Nov 2008 at 19:17
Last week there were a number of reports on the Internet about Opera's mobile browser being rejected from Apple's iPhone App Store. To clarify, Apple apparently rejected Opera Mini, not Opera Mobile. I guess some people were confused (external link) and didn't realise that Opera has two mobile browsers. Apparently, Opera Mini was rejected because it was running a Java ME runtime on the iPhone, although this is only speculation. This of course violates the iPhone's SDK agreement. Still, if Opera were to redevelop Opera Mini using the C API, Apple would probably still reject the application because it directly competes with Safari.
I could understand Apple rejecting Opera Mobile, but Opera Mini isn't a full-fledged web browser at all, like Safari, but rather a "mini" browser. With Opera Mini, webpages are sent through Opera's servers and processed into a smaller file format before being sent to Opera Mini. This method puts most of the rendering job on Opera's servers, which allows Opera Mini to work well on older mobile phones and to reduce bandwidth usage drastically. Overall, it is a severely limited Internet experience, especially in comparison to Safari. The target market of Opera Mini is different from that of Safari.
Hopefully, Opera will devote more resources to getting Opera Mini and Opera Mobile to run on the iPhone properly and then push Apple to accept them as applications. I would really like to see both Opera Mini and Opera Mobile on the iPhone in the near future. When the App Store was released, I expected that eventually Opera Mobile would be ported to the iPhone because it is the most powerful mobile browser on the market. However, Apple's recent anti-competitive practices are making me sceptical of the iPhone as a development platform. Please! I want Opera on my iPhone!