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?
Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and Editorial Director of TechRepublic.