Opera Mini for iPhone: Will Apple Approve It?

The ball is in Apple's court with the Opera Mini Web browser for the iPhone, which is now pending approval

The ball is in Apple's court with the Opera Mini Web browser for the iPhone, which is now pending approval in the iPhone App Store.

Opera began hyping its iPhone browser in February, claiming that Opera Mini can load Web pages significantly faster than the iPhone's native Safari browser, while cutting down on data use by 90 percent. Opera Mini has some other perks as well, such as a home screen filled with your favorite links and the ability to find text within a page.

It sounds like a great experience, but most iPhone users - save for some journalists and industry folks - won't get to use it unless Apple gives the okay.

As Macworld's Dan Frakes noted when Opera first announced the browser for iPhone, there are two reasons Apple might reject the app, along with reasons Opera Mini might slip by: It duplicates core functionality of the iPhone, and it's not based on the Webkit engine, which all third-party browsers currently use to avoid Apple's ban on apps that download and execute code.

A rejection for duplicate functionality is unlikely; the presence of other browsers show that Apple won't reject Safari competitors outright. As for not using Webkit, Opera argues that its browser doesn't download and execute code, because Opera has a server downloads content and processes scripts before sending the result to the user. Essentially, Opera Mini handles all of Apple's no-nos in the cloud instead of on the phone proper. That's what Opera says is behind the browser's superior speed and data efficiency in the first place.

The result is a unique challenge for Apple. It's not as if approving Opera Mini would open the door to all non-Webkit browsers, but at the very least it would invite some serious competition to mobile Safari into the App Store. Opera is daring Apple to do it.

I kind of like the offbeat theory Engadget proposed in February: Opera knows that Apple's going to reject Opera Mini, and all the hype around the app is just a marketing stunt for the browser on other devices, such as Android and Blackberry phones. If that's true, Apple can get its revenge by putting a Google Voice-like freeze on the app, "continuing to study" it for eternity.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags smartphonesbrowsersiPhoneoperating system

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments


James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >


Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?