iPhone

Will Opera get traction on the Apple's iPhone?

Opera said Tuesday that its Mini browser has been approved for the iPhone and iPod touch. Will Opera get traction on the iPhone?

This guest post from Larry Dignan originally published on TechRepublic's sister site ZDNet. You can follow Larry on his ZDNet blog Between the Lines, or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Opera said Tuesday that its Mini browser has been approved for the iPhone and iPod touch. Will Opera get traction on the iPhone?

The Oslo, Norway-based browser company was very public about its App Store application process and it paid off. The playbook goes like this: Tell the world you're applying to be an iPhone app and then raise a stink if Apple shoots the app down. It was unclear whether Apple would accept another browser on the iPhone.

But now the Opera Mini will officially be available on the iPhone one big question remains: Will the browser be adopted widely?

Opera claims its Mini browser has 50 million users worldwide. Many of these users go to the Mini for a few reasons. Among them:

  • Mobile browsers generally stink;
  • Opera speeds up the page loading and can give you a better browsing experience on even pokey 2G networks;
  • The Mini has a bunch of neat features.

In other words, the Mini typically trumps the browser that came with your phone. On the iPhone the scenario for Opera is a bit different. The browsing experience on the iPhone is fine.

I have the Mini for the BlackBerry Storm and it's a bit better than the browser that came with the device. Ultimately, I toggle back and forth but haven't been terribly loyal in either direction. On other mobile phones, the Opera Mini wows you because the browsers are woefully inadequate. What will happen to Opera adoption when the browsing experiences are comparable with the included browser?

13 comments
charles.homsy
charles.homsy

I do know it's taken off on android. I installed it yesterday, on my my touch 3g, and my only gripe is that I can't make it my default browser yet.

Gis Bun
Gis Bun

I'm shocked that Apple would allow a competing web browser to be on an iPhone!

dmeireles
dmeireles

The iThing aproach by Opera is mearly an advertising to reach the desktop market, like the constant whining towards the EU. Fact of the matter is, until now, it is kinda working, but people (specially IT staff) are getting fed up with this childish marketing from a company that, due to its history and years on the market, should know better. Yes, they got me to download and *try* their last version of the desktop browser (after all this last "advertising"), but this is going to hit them hard sooner or later. They seem to have this strong and unhealthy craving for power and that will at some point turn agains them. Now, Opera mini is great on non-smartphones, but on the iThing, well, it goes agains the nature of the device. With a keypad enabled phone, it is handy to have a browser that automatically ajusts the text to the size of the screen saving you all the horizontal scrolling, but on the iPhone, with its great touch interface, I see no need. Plus, you would want the proxy compression thin in a low end, non-wireless device to save you bandwith, time and money. The iPhone has wireless and hardware capable of rendering demanding pages! It all comes down to the WOW factor, and both Apple and Opera win, because there will be a lot of talk about both companies all across the web.

adakar_sg
adakar_sg

Given that you pay for your own cellphone (doubt most of us do) and data traffic is expensive, but you need to access the web from your phone.. Then the Opera Mini is brilliant as it reduces the size of the data transfered. Should be considered by everyone that actually pay the bill themselves.

Roger_Harmon
Roger_Harmon

Oslo, Norway - April 15, 2010 Apple said ?Yes?, and iPhone users around the world said, ?Yes, please?. Opera Mini was downloaded more than one million times in its first day of availability in each market. Opera Mini is currently the number one iPhone app in the 22 featured Apple App Stores on their site, as of 8 a.m. CET today. ( I don't work for Opera, etc.)

adakar_sg
adakar_sg

As they run it trough Operas servers to save traffic, they might also convert it to a supported format and play.. not today, but it should be rather simple

DanielRP
DanielRP

They let windows be installed on Macs and provided all the drivers and software necessary and advertised the fact. It makes them seem less competitive and more like they want the user to have a good experience.

adakar_sg
adakar_sg

Opera made a big media fuzz in front of release, therefore apple could not say no :)

adakar_sg
adakar_sg

Think the IT crowd is not the target, IT guys already use firefox, chrome or Opera, the more security conscious the higher the chance for Opera, dont think the whining is to win "us" over. But then again I'm already running Opera and have been the last 10years or so.

rkuhn040172
rkuhn040172

And, wow, it is fast compared to Safari. Security issues as for as the proxy feature, but for personal surfing, yes I'll be using it for sure.

Gis Bun
Gis Bun

Think you got the wrong thread and story here. Of course why shouldn't there be drivers for boot camp. After all Apple is using the same hardware as on a Windows system. Just change the face, the OS and add $500 to the price!

Gis Bun
Gis Bun

If it was any small developer, I think Apple would ban it. After all, Apple has already pulled off apps that competed with its own apps.