Opera unveils Opera Mini for iPhone

Opera said on Wednesday that it plans to reveal Opera Mini running on the iPhone at an exclusive press and partner preview during the 2010 Mobile World Congress (MWC) next week.

“We are thrilled to offer journalists and partners an exclusive preview of Opera Mini for iPhone during the year’s biggest mobile event,” said Jon von Tetzchner, Co-founder, Opera Software. Tetzchner also adds that Opera will also showcase their latest beta releases of Opera Mobile and Opera Mini on "other platforms and devices". Historically Apple has always rejected applications that have duplicated the original functionality on the iPhone. However, the Californian based company has approved a number of web browsers for the iPhone recently. Mercury Web Browser is available in the App Store free of charge as is described as "the best replacement for Safari".

Opera Mini for iPhone is not publicly available yet and Opera have not confirmed when it might show up in the App Store.

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42 Comments

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rm20010 said,
Interesting. Wouldn't mind an alternate browser for my iTouch.
I wonder if there's any way to set it to be the default but?

dimithrak said,
well good luck getting that approved!

They approved Spotify, and Opera Mini doesn't actually execute any JavaScript or anything on the phone.

But wait a minute! Doesn't Apple pre-load their own browser on iPhone and make it the default? How can Opera compete with that without some sort of browser ballot enforced by a European agency????

C_Guy said,
But wait a minute! Doesn't Apple pre-load their own browser on iPhone and make it the default? How can Opera compete with that without some sort of browser ballot enforced by a European agency????

Because Apple is not a monopolist and therefore didn't break the law.

Opera competes just fine when the competitor isn't breaking the law.

Benjamin Rubenstein said,
Ummm... Since when does Apple allow 3rd party browsers? I never heard about this. Interesting...

They don't allow 3rd party browsers. That's whats interesting about this. This is one of those few times that I hope the EU regulation supreme commanders step in and tell Apple whats-what. It won't happen in the US.

Draken said,
The real good news is that there's hope for Firefox now, cause opera sucks anyway

how does it suck? it displays websites, doesn't it? .. what else could u possibly want from a browser that has to fit in such a small screen.

Draken said,
The real good news is that there's hope for Firefox now, cause opera sucks anyway

I had to pleasure to test both FF and Opera on mobile platforms and can easily say Opera kicks the hell out of FF.

Jayzee said,

I had to pleasure to test both FF and Opera on mobile platforms and can easily say Opera kicks the hell out of FF.

Opera Mini is definitely much further along than FF mobile is. That was the best web browser even as far back as my PocketPC 2003.

Digitalx said,
looks like uses way too much screen estate with title bar then the address bar plus the function bar. :S

That can be disabled in the settings (Fullscreen mode).

Digitalx said,
looks like uses way too much screen estate with title bar then the address bar plus the function bar. :S

The address bar scrolls out when you scroll down on the page.

Ravemaster said,
Wait what? Apple actually approved an alternative browser to Safari?
Has hell frozen over?

Nice try at a clever jibe, but no where in this article does it say that Apple approved it.

Ravemaster said,
Wait what? Apple actually approved an alternative browser to Safari?
Has hell frozen over?

Hahaha thought it was chilly.
Unfortunately as the poster above has said... Apple hasn't approved it yet.

Ravemaster said,
Wait what? Apple actually approved an alternative browser to Safari?
Has hell frozen over?

No, they haven't. Surprisingly many are assuming this will turn out OK in this thread.

I think Opera is doing this to gain press coverage and put pressure on Apple in advance, so they won't just be able to silently say no to it. We'll se how it turns out...

Edited by Northgrove, Feb 10 2010, 1:40pm :

LiquidSolstice said,

Nice try at a clever jibe, but no where in this article does it say that Apple approved it.

While not opera explicitly the article did however state that apple has approved a number of web browsers for the iphone lately. News to me.

Northgrove said,

No, they haven't. Surprisingly many are assuming this will turn out OK in this thread.

I think Opera is doing this to gain press coverage and put pressure on Apple in advance, so they won't just be able to silently say no to it. We'll se how it turns out...

I think that is a good strategy. I hope Apple buckles.

m!ke said,
While not opera explicitly the article did however state that apple has approved a number of web browsers for the iphone lately. News to me.
Safari skins, apparently.

Oops, didn't notice that. But Northgrove has a point, it's probably been announced to draw out Apple's reaction.
Also, m!ke, they're all based upon safari. Not different browser systems.
It will still be a cold day in hell when Apple approves this.

Finally. I was waiting for a decent browser. I use Download Pro and have no complaints, but I really like Opera UI. Safari Sucks.

I thought Opera would be releasing a version for iPhone when I originally heard that they had reworked their UI and data layers so that they could more easily develop versions of their mobile browsers for the various mobile OS's... Looks good. I'm using Opera Mobile 10 B2 and it's a pretty nice browser.

I like the comment about showing off a new Beta of Opera Mobile and Opera Mini at MWC... I've been hoping for Beta 3 of Opera Mobile for a while. I hope that's what they meant. lol

ZeroHour said,
Mercury Browser uses the safari engine though doesnt it? its not really what I call a new browser, just a skin.

I was just about to ask that. Thanks.

Shadrack said,

I was just about to ask that. Thanks.


exactly, alternate web browsers for iphones are just safari skins, opera probably won't be any different

Gabe3 said,
exactly, alternate web browsers for iphones are just safari skins, opera probably won't be any different
That would be ... odd, for Opera.

It will be interesting to see what, if any, performance difference there is between Safari on the iPhone and Opera Mini.

Performance may yet to be seen. But it would be safe to say that the options and user experience will be better overall with Opera. Speed Dial will be awesome. I'd like to see it sync with Opera Link. Imagine if they implement Unite. /drool

Kristan K said,
It will be interesting to see what, if any, performance difference there is between Safari on the iPhone and Opera Mini.
If Opera Mini will end up on the App Store, that is.

It would be in violation of Apple's "competitive product" thing. There are already existing browser apps on the iPhone, but they all use the distributed WebKit engine, and don't do it like Opera.

Kristan K said,
It will be interesting to see what, if any, performance difference there is between Safari on the iPhone and Opera Mini.

I'm curious of that too. Safari has really great performance, but there is certainly room for more features. The first one that comes to head is an integrated spell checker.

Shadrack said,
I'm curious of that too. Safari has really great performance, but there is certainly room for more features. The first one that comes to head is an integrated spell checker.

Opera Mini compresses the page up to 90% before it's sent to the phone, remember. Saves a lot of time on bad networks, and a lot of money when you pay for your data...

Also, yeah, features like Speed Dial and all that.