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Apple does the unthinkable and approves Opera Mini for the iPhone, iPod touch

In what must be one of the most shocking developments in the whole Apple App Store versus the third-party app market comes news that Opera Mini has been approved by Apple for the iPhone and iPod touch. When Opera Software submitted the apps for Apple's prying eyes back in March, no one really took them seriously and thought that they were just showing off to drum up some press.

Well, Apple has shown Opera some leniency and Opera Mini will be available to U.S. iPhone and iPod touch users shortly. Here's the Opera press release in its entirety:

Opera today announced its popular mobile browser, Opera Mini has been approved for iPhone and iPod touch on the App Store. Opera Mini will be available as a free download within 24 hours, depending on market.

Opera Mini, with more than 50 million users worldwide, enables fast mobile Web browsing by compressing data by up to 90 percent before sending content to the device, resulting in significantly improved page loading. Users of the app will notice an uptake in speed, especially on slower networks such as the 2G Edge network. Surfing the Web with the Opera Mini App on iPhone and iPod touch will also help users save money because of its data compression capabilities. This will hold especially true while the user is incurring roaming charges.

"We are delighted to offer iPhone and iPod touch users a great browsing experience with the Opera Mini App," said Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera Software. "This app is another step toward Opera's goal of bringing the Web to more people in more places."

The Opera Mini App is available for free from the App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or at www.itunes.com/appstore

Could the walls be crumbling in Apple's heavy-handed approach to App Store acceptance/rejection? Maybe Opera just caught Steve Jobs on a good day. Who knows, but this is at least a good step forward for Apple.

Updated 4/13/2010

It's now available in the iTunes Store.






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