No Opera For iPhone

I’m not to thrilled to read this:

Mr. von Tetzchner said that Opera’s engineers have developed a version of Opera Mini that can run on an Apple iPhone, but Apple won’t let the company release it because it competes with Apple’s own Safari browser.

This isn’t news, it’s been known for a while. I’m honestly wondering why Opera invested the development time with this in mind.

Apple’s going to learn the hard way that if it doesn’t drop this clause it’s going to be subject to Android’s wrath. Android is going to take some time to gather steam (I’d guess at least 18 months before it can catch up to the iPhone due to it still being pretty clunky and limited in availability) but when it does it catch up, it could be problematic.

It would be great to see a iPhone version of Fennec, but until Apple wises up, it’s not going to happen.

I predict just like Apple initially had a “no third party applications” policy, this too will change once it becomes obvious that this will end up hurting them in the long run. The question remains: how long will that take?

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7 Responses to “No Opera For iPhone”

  1. Daniel Glazman says:

    > I’m honestly wondering why Opera invested the development time with this in mind.

    To compare the user experience of Opera and Safari on same platform ? To offer Opera as an embeddable rendering engine to non-browsing apps ? Or to be ready for the day the stupid, counter-productive and unique in history restrictions on iPhone software will fall ?

  2. Robert says:

    @Daniel Glazman: Developing a product knowing that Apple would never allow them to put it in the App Store. Just doesn’t make sense, unless it was a quick thing to do (technically) and intended to be a statement about Apple’s restrictions.

  3. FWIW, Opera Mini does not have a JavaScript engine. (Not speaking on behalf of Opera here, by the way.)

  4. Florent V. says:

    Robert, it might have been not so expensive to do, and does sound like a statement about Apple’s restrictions. But what Daniel said about testing Opera Mini with the iPhone user experience (multi-touch…) and being ready makes sense. This might be a way for them to improve their product for all platforms.

    Daniel, it’s true that Apple’s strategy is stupid and counter-productive. But it’s far from unique in history. Mobile devices have been restricted platforms for ages. Game consoles are other good examples of restricted platforms. I have a Sony PSP which is basically a mini-computer with WiFi connectivity and specific controls instead of a keyboard; if I want to install third-party applications (including Opera Mini), I have to hack the original firmware first. So the whole restricted thing is far from unprecedented. It’s just a bit surprising from a computer manufacturer and OS vendor (but not that much, we knew already that they do love consumer lock-in — who doesn’t?).

  5. James Boston says:

    Microsoft landed in court for less. How does Apple get away with it?

  6. Jo Hermans says:

    Apple hasn’t refused the application (at least, not yet). See http://daringfireball.net/2008/11/opera_app_store

  7. eatme says:

    > How does Apple get away with it?

    By not having a monopoly on the market place.

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