I enjoy using the Opera Mobile browser on my mobile devices because it gives me a consistent user experience, I can keep all my bookmarks in sync across platforms, and it is light and fast. However, does Opera truly believe Apple will ever approve an alternative web browser for the iPhone? There have been browser enhancements before on the iPhone, but they just offered different ways to use the default Safari web browser and given Apple's practice of locking things down to provide consumes with the experience Apple wants them to have means to me there is very little chance we will ever see Opera Mini on the iPhone. I am sure it will run just fine on jailbroken iPhones, but just do not see it happening officially.
Opera has a video (embedded below) showing how Opera Mini runs on the iPhone so they obviously have it up and running on development jailbroken devices. Opera Mini does compress data by up to 90 percent before sending it to the phone so AT&T should embrace this option as a way to help lighten the load on their network. With networks now talking about tiered pricing and setting limits on data that they are finding they cannot handle, having a browser option like Opera Mini does make sense.
I also do not think this Opera Mini counter that tracks how long the iPhone App Store approval process takes to approve the browser is helping Opera's chances of ever getting approved. It most likely will take Apple longer than a simple game to approve a web browser (I still doubt they ever will) and Opera showing how long it takes to get through that process is not complementary to Apple.