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Apple Accepts Opera on the iPhone

By Craig Buckler

Programming

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I’m amazed. Truly. Apple has approved the Opera browser on it’s hallowed iPhone.

Last month, I reported that Opera had submitted their browser to Apple’s rigorous vetting process. The company started an inventive high-profile publicity campaign with a numerous reports and an approval count-up page. They also encouraged visitors to guess how long the process would take.

However, the chances of inclusion remained slim. Apple already provide Safari on the device and normally defend their competitive advantage. It’s taken a little under 3 weeks to gain approval, but Opera is finally available from the App Store!

It was a tough decision for Apple — or perhaps it wasn’t? Opera led the European Commission into battle against Microsoft and could certainly have made life difficult if Apple rejected the browser. Opera’s shares rose almost 6% after the announcement was made.

Opera claim surfing is up to 5 times faster than Apple’s Safari browser. It achieves this boost with Opera Turbo which routes communications through proxy servers to deliver highly-compressed pages and faster download speeds. Although will it remain effective once several million iPhone owners are using the application?

Congratulations to Opera for having the first third-party browser on the iPhone. And well done Apple for accepting some healthy competition!

The real winners are the iPhone users who have a little more choice from today. Have you tried Opera on your iPhone? Is it better or faster than Safari?

Craig is a freelance UK web consultant who built his first page for IE2.0 in 1995. Since that time he's been advocating standards, accessibility, and best-practice HTML5 techniques. He's created enterprise specifications, websites and online applications for companies and organisations including the UK Parliament, the European Parliament, the Department of Energy & Climate Change, Microsoft, and more. He's written more than 1,000 articles for SitePoint and you can find him @craigbuckler.

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