The company behind the Web browser Opera is weeks away from submitting it to Apple’s iPhone store for approval, a spokesman said Friday. The result, according to the Norwegian company, would be a browser up to six times faster than the iPhone’s default Web tool, Safari.
The question raised by the plans — and the major publicity push Opera made last month at the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona, Spain — is whether Apple will approve the application — in effect creating competition for its own product. At the South By Southwest Interactive festival in Austin, Opera spokesman Thomas Ford demonstrated for CNN the Opera Mini app being developed for the iPhone.
“I can’t positively say the time frame, but I can say it’s very soon,” Ford said when asked when the app would be officially submitted to Apple. Asked whether it would be weeks or months, he said “weeks.”
In the smartphone market, Opera currently is available on BlackBerry, Windows Mobile and Android platforms. Opera Mini is huge on non-smartphone mobile phones, accounting for much of its more than 50 million monthly users worldwide, according to the company.