Opera to show off iPhone browser despite Apple ban

Opera has not submitted the browser to the App Store, but says it hopes Apple will change its policies and 'not deny their users a choice'
Written by David Meyer, Contributor on

Opera plans to demonstrate a version of its Mini browser for the iPhone at Mobile World Congress next week, even though Apple does not permit any other browsers on its handset.

In a statement on Wednesday, Opera co-founder Jon von Tetzchner said the demonstration, exclusively for journalists and company partners, will be "a unique opportunity to introduce the fast, feature-rich Opera Mini experience for the iPhone, and to showcase our latest beta releases of Opera Mobile and Opera Mini on other platforms and devices".

Opera Mini is the company's lightweight, free mobile browser, while Opera Mobile is a paid-for, more fully featured browser. Both browsers use compression technology to reduce data download size.

The Norwegian software maker has not submitted the browser to Apple's App Store, spokeswoman Julie Sajnani told ZDNet UK.

While Apple's App Store is full of third-party applications, Apple will not allow any application into the store that it deems to replicate essential iPhone functionality — in this case, the preloaded Safari browser.

Sajnani said Opera hopes "Apple will not deny their users a choice in web-browsing experience".

Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

Opera would not confirm whether it would be showing Opera Mini for iPhone on a developer device. The other planned Opera releases at Mobile World Congress include beta 3 of Opera Mobile 10 for Symbian Series 60 and Windows Mobile handsets, a beta of Opera Mobile 10 for Android, and a beta of Opera Mini 5 running on a variety of handsets and platforms.

A beta of Opera's cross-platform Widgets Manager will also be shown, running on Windows Mobile and Series 60 handsets.

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