April 13, 2010 Last Updated 1:37 pm

Apple approves Opera’s iPhone browser; approval of Opera Mini helps Apple avoid anti-competitive charge

Image and video hosting by TinyPicIn a surprise move, Apple approved a competitive browser for the iPhone. The Opera Mini Web browser made its appearance yesterday in iTunes and is already a major hit with app downloaders with several thousand reviews instantly appearing.

The release caught many be surprise as the general feeling was that there was no way Apple would approve a browser that would compete with its own Safari browser — its basic policy being that apps that duplicate basic Apple provided functions would not be approved. But the exceptions, like Weather apps, for instance, were many — and besides, browser wars generally do not turn out well for the dominate player, as Microsoft can attest.
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Opera was very public at the time it submitted the app for approval, putting the pressure on Apple to approve the browser or face immense criticism.

For iPhone users, the biggest advantage will be felt by those with first generation devices. The Opera browser is reportedly very fast using EDGE, the generally slower data platform. The reviews for the app were very positive prior to the approval, but MacRumors readers are not as thrilled — some even speculating that Apple approved the browser because it will prove to be no competition at all for Safari.

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