Opera Mini on iPhone demoed, and unlikely to see the light of day
Opera has been busy showing off its Opera Mini browser offering on the iPhone at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona; completely set in the belief that Apple will be unable to decline entry of its browser into the App Store when it submits it in the next couple of weeks.
Although the move is likely to be declined outright or put into the "waiting for approval" box for eternity, that hasn't stopped Opera spending over a year, and considerably money, developing the app for the Apple phone.
"We've met every specification from Apple in their App Store terms and conditions", Phillip Gronvold, a project analyst, told Pocket-lint in a one to one interview and apparently buoyant that Apple will say "Yes".
The browser has already been downloaded 7.5 million times on other platforms like Google's Android and the BlackBerry OS. It is a lighter version of the full Opera Mobile "experience" and plans to offer a number of major improvements over the current default Safari browser from Apple.
Unfortunately, we weren't allowed to take any pictures, but the user interface and experience is very similar to the yet released Opera Mobile app for the Nexus one (pictured).
The main selling point, claims Opera, is a vastly improved speed benefit even on GPRS connections.
In our demo Gronvold managed to load six pages of the New York Times website to Safari's one, while an additional trick of temporarily caching the pages locally means zipping backwards through pages you've already visited in that session doesn't involve reloading them.
The company is also hoping the appeal of desktop syncing, a quick panel homepage, tabbed browsing and the ability to save pages to read later will make it a sure fire hit if it ever gets approved, but is this all just hypothetical?
For the time being that's all it is at the moment as Apple has yet to approve the browser, which many believe will be unlikely anyway.
"We have no reason to see why they wouldn't approve the app. We are 100% certain they will", reconfirmed Gronvold in our interview a number of times.
So if they don't approve will it become available on the darker side of the phone, in the Cydia store on Jailbroken handsets?
Gronvold says no: "We work very closely with Apple providing Opera on the desktop version of the Mac, we aren't here to cause friction", before going on to say that "if this was just a PR stunt we could have released something into the wild a long time ago".
Let's hope for iPhone users looking to surf the net quickly on the phone that Apple have a moment of weakness and let Opera mini for iPhone through the system.