Why Opera Didn't Make It on the iPhone

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Last week a lot was made of revelations that Apple had barred the Opera browser from the iPhone. Reports explained Apple blocked the browser company Opera from distributing a mobile version of its browser, Opera Mini, to iPhone users because it competes with Apple's own Safari browser. It appeared to many Apple was unfairly restricting good applications from iPhone users - something it has been accused of doing in the past.

All may not be as it appears. I caught up with Tor Odland, Director of Corporate Communications at Opera, who says earlier reports overstate the situation. In fact Odland says, "Opera has not yet submitted a version of Opera Mini to Apple's App Store, but may do so in the future."

Today's comments from Odland contradict Opera CEO Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner who was paraphrased in a New York Times blog post saying, "Apple won't let the company release it [Opera Mini for iPhone] because it competes with Apple's own Safari browser."

The Apple of discord

Mr. Odland confirmed "Opera has developed an initial version of Opera Mini for the iPhone platform". "We're confident that many users would consider giving Opera Mini a spin on the iPhone, due to the browser's speed" he added.

In addition, Haavard, an Opera employee, mentions in a blog post last week that it's "not sure if we've ever confirmed that we actually had Opera Mini ready for the iPhone."

It seemed unrealistic for Apple to block such a high profile company from having an application on the iPhone, but now it all looks like an Opera publicity stunt rather than yet another anticompetitive scandal for Apple.

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