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back to article Opera plays chicken with Apple iPhone police

Opera's Jesus Phone play is more clever than you think. Yesterday, the Norwegian browser makers let it be known that at next week's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, they will publicly unveil an iPhone incarnation of their Opera Mini mobile browser. The general assumption is that Steve Jobs and cult won't actually let the …

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Probably pointless though.

A quick snoop in Opera's Mini forum reveals that Mini lacks Flash support.

So that's the one killer feature that might entice the faithful to ditch Safari for something else missing then. As a result, any shenanigans over Mini's acceptance by the Apple store will be a storm in a teacup, as nobody'll* bloody want it anyway.

*Or perishingly close to nobody anyway. I'm assuming that the subset of Apple fanbois who are also Opera fanbois is a fairly small number of people in the greater scheme of things.

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FAIL

What?

What the hell are you talking about?

I WANT Opera Mini because it cuts data costs by up to 90%, and makes surfing faster. Also, it has Speed Dial, a password manager, tabbed browsing, and all that.

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Coat

and all that...

...to run on a pathetic closed platform with a low-res screen...

mine's the one with the n900 (with full browser) in the pocket - no wait, got it here with me

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Opera Mini is crap though

Opera Mini is a dumb client that asks a server to render the page and then just displays it. It's incredibly handy for handsets which haven't the power / memory etc. to render content for themselves but I don't see any reason the iPhone needs it.

If Opera really wanted to piss off Apple, they should port their full blown app, submit it and when it was rejected release it into the wild for the jailbreakers to use. I think it would still be enormously popular.

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Anonymous Coward

Opera Mini is not crap

Opera Mini compresses pages up to 90%. That means faster and cheaper surfing.

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Big Brother

Come to think of it

This implies built-in Phorm-potential. What use of this - if, indeed, any - they make is, of course, another matter.

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Opera Mini on iTunes, Opera Mobile on Cydia?

It's a distribution channel that many of us are willing to trust -- at least for a few critical apps like Backgrounder.

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FAIL

Javascript?

So.... with no interpreted code, there's no javascript? So Opera will work with even less of the web than it does now? Apple should reject this on uselessness grounds.

Why all the fuss about browsers on iPhone, just use Safari.

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Anonymous Coward

Yes, JS

Opera Mini DOES support JS. It's handled by the server.

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Anonymous Coward

@Steen Hive

Dude, it is a free market because if you don't want to abide by Apple's restrictions then you are free (the free bit) to buy a phone / pda / multi-function device from someone else, and there are plenty of alternatives (the market).

Now, the bit about Apple being able to do what they want is not quite so free, I agree, but as long as their criteria are fair, reasonable and applied to all then no M&M committee is going to give a damn, certainly not until iPhone market share starts becoming a monopoly, and even then it would be an uphill struggle.

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@Lee

Let me reiterate.

Opera don't make phones. Apple is exerting true monopoly abuse on the browser market for iPhone apps, much more so than Microsoft got whacked for over IE. Arguing that the market is too small for the government to be interested is a straw man, just as much as arguing that installing linux on a PC breaks the IE monopoly - legislation doesn't discriminate on the size of the market.

In the big picture, the jobs at Opera are more important than the Jobs at the cult.

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FAIL

Opera missing the point

Would make a lot more sense if Opera focused their energies on getting their browser working properly on Android. On my Hero it is unuseable.

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Pint

Opera are worthless..

.. but I'd love to see a Microsoft + Moz + Google + Opera v Apple court case. You can't arbitarily lock other providers out of your platform because you feel like it.

Microsoft almost got broken up into tiny little pieces for not even doing that. Shame Microsoft are friends with Apple now because Jobs doesn't deserve friends like that - I'd love to see Google eat Apple alive just for fun.

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FAIL

Worthless?

How is Opera "worthless"? It's the dominant mobile browser, and the desktop version has probably more than 50 million users, and it doubles every 2 years.

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Stop

Why Do I Want Another Browser

Is it just me, or what's the point of another browser on the iPhone? Safari is just fine. So much so it's now my browser of choice on the desktop.

Leave Apple alone. They are about the only company that is doing anything interesting at the moment.

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Here is the point

One size does not fit all. If it did we'd all be using Internet Explorer on Windows.

If as you say mobile Safari is just fine why does Apple even care to block other browsers?

The reason of course is other browsers might support things like plugins, flash, Java etc. Things that people might very much like to run on their iPhone.

From a user perspective, the restrictions in the iPhone (and iPod Touch and iPad) are simply inexcusable.

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Pint

Why would...

.. anybody want a browser other than IE?

Apple don't get to decide is the problem.

If Apple are going to vet all software on their platforms then the test should be "is it malicious" and not do they compete with us or if we apply our moral standards or taste would we install it?

Apple shouldn't get to decide because it's anti-competative in a way Microsoft wouldn't even dream of - the hammer legion would go nuts if Microsoft blocked safari, opera and moz from their systems, that is the test which should be applied.

There's lawsuits on the horizon.

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"the point of another browser on the iPhone..."

...is that Opera Mini compresses webpages and content so that you can view it more quickly over 3g/GSM/HSPDPAPA (or whatever it's called) than any other method, even (indeed especially) when you have a weak connection or the local cell is clogged with bozos running youtube and iplayer video or god for bid P2P on their smartphones. It really is a cracking little browser.

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Jobs Halo

Generalization

The point of another browser on a mobile phone: Nokia's pre-installed one, as opposed to OperaMini, something genuinely useful within the limitations of screen size and so forth, even with the evident lack of UI polish (but then the versions I have used seem to have been written in Java, and this - I'd presume - severely limits the design ...)

[Choice of icon due to a recent change in general world view due to Bayonetta: her enemies tend to sport a halo.]

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Just tried to install Internet Explorer on my Blackberry

It wouldn't let me. Damn monopolists!

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Pint

Blergh

If Microsoft wrote IE for blackberry (though I don't know why you'd want it) you'd be able to install it.

The question with the iEverything is not one of imcompatability, it's one of vendor lock-in.

Indeed you can use the obscure APIs themselves as indication of vendor lock-in in it's own right, but the real issue is Apple picking and chosing who the let use their platform, which would have no legs to stand on in a US (Sherman Act) suit or when the EU inevitably start proceedings.

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Boffin

Given how much trouble M$ got for the IE shortcut on the desktop

It is truly amazing that anti-Trust regulators have not gone after Apple. It really does illustrate just how technologically ignorant these regulators are.

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Jobs Horns

Interesting

Opera Mini runs beautifully on my Blackberry. Maybe some manner of tom foolery will allow it to run well on the iPhone. If not, then the Jesus Phone addicts will be stuck with their one browser. Too bad. Your loss. LOL!!!!

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Now with More Cloud

Since the server is the browser engine and the phone piece is just the display, doesn't that mean that Opera now has the cloudiest browser available?

On the other hand, it also puts the Opera servers in the prime spot for adding some user focused advertising to whatever pages are passing through.

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Alert

Defective by Design

I won't buy iAnything.

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Much point-missing here

The iPhone is designed as a locked-down vertically-integrated consumer appliance. If Apple allowed a 3rd-party program to open a backdoor that entire paradigm would be broken. Use of an alternative html rendering engine is a slightly different issue, but rendering is such a core function of a modern OS that I can understand why Apple is very wary of allowing it even for static pages. Apple's slick and friendly UI is based on the principle of having everything under Apple's control, and I can't really blame them, because they developed that from experience.

If you don't want an appliance and want a phone with a full-fledged open OS, then don't buy a frikkin' iPhone FFS. All this whining about the restrictions in iPhone OS is pathetic when there are so many better options available for people who want a proper mobile computing device.

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Paris Hilton

The paradigm?

Some great comments to some of the AC stuff I posted earlier and I wish I could address them all but ... I voted in your favour even though we may have disagreed slightly to profoundly but hey-ho tis beauty of discussion no?)

Maybe the newest paradigm being missed by all is gross fractiousness by taking too many specifics (what brand, what OS from that brand, will it integrate with one's mobile lifestyle, will it necessitate a humungous need for duplicated, triplicated stuff that can never really sync well lest if it does it does forth in a clunkyness of manner (with apologies to any automated grammar checkers out there :-] )

On the other hand were I to state: buying this one (yeah single and verity one) one also buys into its platform of doability and integratedness and doing so so across many devices of the same name.

Would it be Android? Nokia, W7 for mobiles (or were that W mobiles 7?) or some other?

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