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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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"When pigs fly?" Puh-leeze.
By CZroe on 4/13/2010 1:20:47 PM , Rating: 2
I wish folks would stop treating this like a "pigs fly" situation. We all knew that there was a lot of pressure on Apple and that that is why Opera even bothered to submit it. Concern over past litigation over similar things caused this and that's exactly what Opera was hoping for. Apple thought better of fighting for their right to exclude from their controlled market because this one fight could have resulted in them legally losing control. Apple may have user agreements that differentiate this from open-platform browser wars, but why test them? They called it a "smartphone" back when the very definition meant having the ability to run and execute *arbitrary* software. People who bought under that pretense and fought legally could bring down "The House that Apple Built."

It was either "fight it" or "allow it," with either being a distinct possibility due to the difficulty of the fight. Though it didn't seem likely (Apple often brings the fight), it wasn't totally unexpected. We should stop behaving that way.




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