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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  1. Si 1

    That's very clever

    Bravo to Opera for coming up with such a devious way to get around Apple's restrictions. I do have to ask though, do they have the server capacity to transcode tens of thousands of pages as people request them via their phone?

    And how are they handling Javascript? I wonder if they're actually using Safari to present transcoded pages as background images so they have access to a Javascript engine...

    1. Puck

      re can opera mini servers handle it?

      well, opera mini is already running on a LOT of handsets, so far as I know (it's the most usable browser for Symbian S60 v3); I gather some people in the third world with dialup are running it on PCs because it makes the web usable for them. although i admit i have no idea how opera monetise their operation, such as funds their programming or increased demand for the service...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      RE: That's very clever

      "Bravo to Opera for coming up with such a devious way to get around Apple's restrictions."

      Except if you read the article, you'll see that they're complying with the restrictions...

  2. Jeremy 2
    Thumb Up

    <title/>

    Good on 'em... but Apple are just going to say that by rendering the 'compressed' mark-up, they're interpreting code.

    It's gonna be interesting to watch though.

    1. Frumious Bandersnatch

      turtles all the way down

      Yeah, but delving into exactly what an executable/interpretive environment *is* opens up a Pandora's box of worms. Elementary application of Godel's Incompleteness Theorem.

      And yes, the terminology of coding theory does include such words as "alphabet" and "language", so your point is strictly true. But obviously pointlessly so. Should be fun, indeed.

      1. Eddie Edwards
        Boffin

        Probably not true

        How is this an application of Godel's Incompleteness Theorem?

        There is a clear delineation between programs which are equivalent to universal Turing machines, and programs which are not.

        Godel's Theorem just says that you can write functions like this, and their value is not defined:

        bool p() { return !p(); }

  3. karlp

    Is Required

    While not a fanboy, I generally understand Apple's position from a business aspect, and from that angle I can understand why the no execution thing is in place.

    In this particular case however I have to agree that Opera is on to something. What they are doing is not appreciably different than numerous apps that are already in the store.

    While the Apple brand can afford a lot of the press that presents itself from some of the app store opportunities that have/will arise, it would be incredibly short sighted for them to deny this app.

    However, if it is anything like mini on the numerous other platforms I have used, I don't believe it will gain much traction, it just isn't that good of an app in comparison to TouchOS-Safari. Maybe the new V is substantially better?

  4. Jerome 0
    WTF?

    Scripting on the server

    So all the client-side Javascript is actually run server-side? Over an intermittent 3G data connection? And this is supposed to tempt people away from the iPhone's own browser? I hate to judge this before I've seen it in action, but I'd be vastly surprised to see this work smoothly on anything but the simplest of pages.

    1. Greg J Preece

      It's a proven system

      Opera Mini runs on a hell of a lot of devices, and quite successfully at that. Is it Mini that's installed on the Wii?

      I use Opera Mobile myself, which has had its ups and downs, but the latest beta is turning into an excellent piece of kit.

    2. Lars Silver badge
      Go

      Re: scripting on the server

      "anything but the simplest of pages"

      The whole idea with using a sever producing output to a lesser device like a phone is speed.

      The more complicated the page is the more advantage there is using a (fast) server to chew it before it is sent to the phone or what ever.

      It is quite easily proved too, just download opera mini onto your phone and try it.

      I do not know the number of (linux) servers Opera uses for this service but It has to be a fairly impressive data center bye now.

  5. DZ-Jay

    Stupid move

    I see it as a very stupid move.

    If the Apple staff--against apparently everyone's view--is reasonable and abides by common sense, and sees value in the application, and applies their own rules fairly, and does not find any conflict with its rules; then they will approve Opera Mini and that is that. But then it wouldn't have required forcing their hand because the application stands on its own merits.

    However, if--as everyone seems to believe--Steve Jobs is a maniacal control freak that hates everybody with a differing point of view, who will not ever in a million years allow a competitor to run their own code for the sake of keeping control of the entire platform, and that he will make decisions out of sheer will, irrespective of reason or consequence; then I fail to see how a P.R. stunt like Opera's is going to change his mind in any way. Especially for a small-fry player like Opera*.

    I say to them, good luck with that.

    * NB: I like Opera, and think their software is great and that they deserve much more recognition than they are currently getting; but I think their recent publicity stunts border on the desperate and stupid.

    -dZ.

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge
      Go

      Precisely because Opera is a small fry

      The FTC and/or FCC will be pretty much forced to step in and start seriously investigating Apple and their policies, and Apple really doesn't want that. It's a PR stunt to get the government involved, since they're the only ones with a hammer big enough to stop Apple's stupid crap.

      Either they approve Opera against all the Ts&Cs they've screwed everyone else over with (and everyone else will then go "hey, what about us?") or they reject Opera and it becomes something so overt and plainly anti-competitive that the gov't can no longer ignore it.

      Opera has stuck them between a rock and a hard place. Kudos to 'em.

      1. E Haines

        @Precisely because Opera is a small fry

        By what bizarre stretch of logic would any government get involved in this? Apple is quite free to use whatever criteria they desire, and apply it as arbitrarily as they like. They don't have to approve a single app if they don't want to. Granted they wouldn't have any developers left if they did that, but it's their store, their rules, and if you don't like it, there are a bazillion other phones out there that you can develop for instead. Gotta love the free market, eh?

        1. Steen Hive
          FAIL

          Market Shmarket

          Meh, We're back in bizarro universe when arguably the most restricted and regulated platform in the wild is described as a "free market". Corporations attempt this rubbish all the time, but only the most retarded of sect dupes celebrate vendor lock-in to the extent appletards do.

          Nevermind, that's what we have that little thing called "anti-trust" legislation for - Apple *isn't* free to use "whatever criteria they desire", thank fuck, and personally I hope they get shat on from a great height. Go Opera!

          1. Sean Timarco Baggaley
            FAIL

            Unless you have access to different statistics than everyone else...

            ...then Apple do NOT have a "monopoly"—or anything even remotely resembling one.

            While their market share in the consumer market is higher than most statistics suggest (because the usual data includes corporate sectors and other markets Apple have never been even remotely interested in), there is no way Apple can be accused of having a near-monopoly, let alone an actual one.

            The iPhone is NOT the only touch-screen mobile phone with an app store. It just happens to be the only one made by Apple. Even Nokia's S40 mobiles—I happen to own one myself—can run third-party apps.

            Contrary to popular belief, there *is* a market in the mobile phone sector that doesn't have an Apple logo on it. And it's quite big too. There's a veritable diarrhoea of models shat out by Apple's competitors each year.

            The only "monopoly" Apple have is in making Apple-branded products. Try coding apps for games consoles sometime and you'll see what a truly "closed" platform really looks like.

          2. E Haines

            @Market Shmarket

            Somebody needs to explain to you what anti-trust legislation is, when it applies, and what the free market means. (It won't be me, because clearly you've made up your mind in disregard to such niceties as facts and reality, and trying to enlighten brick walls was never my strong point.) I swear, the only thing more illogical and wrong-headed than a fanboi is an anti-fanboi....

            1. Steen Hive

              Free Market and others.

              Well here's a whack of a cluebat for you.. The competing product is Safari, not the bleedin' iPhone. The market is browsers, not phones. Consumers being able to buy another phone is irrelevant.

          3. FIA Silver badge

            Eh?

            "Meh, We're back in bizarro universe when arguably the most restricted and regulated platform in the wild is described as a "free market". Corporations attempt this rubbish all the time, but only the most retarded of sect dupes celebrate vendor lock-in to the extent appletards do."

            I'm confused, Apple have <5% of the mobile phone market (compare that with around 40% for Nokia for example), they have a larger share of the personal media player market, but there are still numerous examples of competing products out there, and they have a small but growing share of the PC market.

            How is this anything other than a free market? If you buy an iPhone there's nothing stopping you moving to another mobile phone once your contract terms have expired, and there's a multitude of other devices out there that not only allow you to make phone calls, but do just about everything else the iPhone does. (There's thousands of symbian apps out there if you go looking.)

            "Nevermind, that's what we have that little thing called "anti-trust" legislation for - Apple *isn't* free to use "whatever criteria they desire", thank fuck, and personally I hope they get shat on from a great height. Go Opera!"

            1. Apple is free at the moment, they have less than 5% of the market share, that is by no definition 'anti-competitive', if they ever do manage to achieve a dominant market position (remember MS had something like 80-90% of the computer market in the 90s) then I'm sure the anti-trust legislation will kick in.

            2. Is this the same anti-trust legislation that was so effective in ending Microsoft's monopoly in the late 90s?

            Can someone please explain where this ire comes from with the anti apple crowd? people seem vehemently upset that apple exercises control over it's platform, but don't seem to want to buy anything else? What is it the iPhone does so well and so uniquely that people who seem to hate apple with every fibre want to own one.

            I didn't like some aspects of the iPhone when I last upgraded, that's why I have a phone from the dominant manufacturer in the marketplace; but I don't get upset about it. :)

            If you don't like apples policies then don't buy their kit, if that represents the view of the majority of consumers they'll change it or wither away and die, but as it is they seem to be making a lot of cash (and, lets be fair, have a lot of happy customers) doing what they're doing.

            1. Trevor Pott o_O Gold badge
              Pint

              Minor nitpick...

              "Is this the same anti-trust legislation that was so effective in ending Microsoft's monopoly in the late 90s?"

              Anti-trust legislation does not exist to end monopolies. It exists to ensure the corporations that have a monopoly do not abuse them. The breakup of AT&T was a truly exceptional circumstance, and by no means the norm in anti-trust legislation. As much as everyone was crying for MS's blood, the rulings did cause MS to open up many of their APIs, stop pulling various stunts that got them in trouble, and generally not abuse their monopoly position.

              In return for good behaviour, they got to keep their monopoly. As much as I don’t like paying big time money for MS software licences, app for app, they really aren’t that out of tune with the (non-FOSS) software market, and frankly have (mostly) reformed themselves.

              Microsoft is no saint, but they don’t tend to engage in nearly as much of the kinds of behaviours as they did to get that lawsuit thrown at them in the first place.

              (This comment made with the understanding that MS still get up to some crappy shenanigans. I merely make the comment that the suit succeeded in getting MS to live “at the red line,” forever in fear of a second anti-trust suit.)

              Oh, and Apple? crApple? Who cares? Here, have an iBeer...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          In global IT...

          ...Apple has as much impact as a sparrow fart in a hurricane. They are a minor player, nay, an irrelevant player. That's globally, across all markets.

          But in the smart phone market alone... ...they're one of the big boys. And in that market you could argue they have a near-monopoly, certainly at the premium end. Ergo they do need to watch out and be careful they don't fall foul of monopoly laws (which will also differ from country to country). So they aren't really that free to "use whatever criteria they desire" if that criteria can be construed as abusing their monopoly position in the smart phone market.

          Until the likes of the Nexus One and N900 begin to take serious market share, Apple must tread carefully. And personally I would love an N900, if the battery life did not suck ass.

        3. Doug Glass
          Go

          Bizarre My Obama !!

          What government would ever see fit to get involved in a college sports dispute ? Why the U.S. government of course. They've decided to get involved in the college football national championship effort (the BCS) so nothing is too small, or whatever, for O-Bama (get it? ... Bama?) to take control of.

          Rest assured, the government of the good old U.S. of A. is ready, willing and able to jump into Apple's crap. And it matters not how small or private the situation may be ... control is control.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        RE: Precisely because Opera is a small fry

        "It's a PR stunt to get the government involved, since they're the only ones with a hammer big enough to stop Apple's stupid crap"

        ...but the browser complies with Apple's rules, which means it's going to be allowed anyway.

        You really didn't read the article, did you?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        It's apple's store

        I think some people are forgetting that it's apple's store.

        If you had a shop and people kept coming in and offering you products to sell would you ever choose one that was identical (nearly) to one you're already selling yourself?

        They will not get investigated for anticompetitiveness as they allow other webkit based browsers to run. It's their firmware and their store so they get to decide what they sell and what application run on it. If you have a problem then either jailbreak it or don't buy it in the first place.

        In reality the majority of people (inc. iPhone useres) couldn't care less.

  6. Paul 25

    Why would I want Opera Mini?

    If the javascript is executed on the server side, presumably that means that it can only handle the kind of javascript that runs when you first load the page, nothing interactive.

    If this is the case then I can't see why I would use it when there is a perfectly good alternative.

    Am I missing something? Is mini actually smarter than that, and can somehow handle interactive javascript?

    1. Fran Taylor

      Probably smarter than that

      They are probably running a browser on the server and basically just using the iphone as a remote display. The client can be thin and dumb and do the limbo right under the Apple requirements. I bet they can even get it to do AJAX stuff. Video - I dunno.

  7. charlie wallace
    Pirate

    so then

    cydia

  8. flof

    Or maybe…

    ...they're preparing for a new edition of this: http://www.opera.com/press/releases/2009/01/17/

    Pondering significant investment in popcorn shares.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Heh.

      They aren't preparing for anything of the sorts, since Apple isn't actually a convicted monopolist.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    I kinda feel sorry for ...

    ... people that might not be used to the Apple's way of doing things.

    Yes, sure it is different to how other OSs work and favours a closed hardware route.

    But that ain't all that bad at all really and with these sort of existential and core design paradigms one has to (or at least should give due consideration to) does it make for something better or for something worse?

    And that seems to be a personal question with equally personal answer.

    My take: until the Apple nuffs it up badly (iDisk and TomTom do spring to mind) my preference is for a closed hardware route. Yes, your preference might differ and that is good. Be happy.

    You might have noticed a few video type ads on el reg's illustrious pages and that is fine for a mains powered device. But how are you going to feel when the stuff you wish to view on a mobile device has gross overload on the video front when the content you are after is merely a few hundreds of words?

    Pleased that the video is eating into your paid for minutes perhaps?

    Pleased that the extra energy drain is going to necessitate an urgent and important battery recharge?

    And, as we all know, batteries only only good for a finite number of recharges yes?

    You may wish your mobile device to cause battery rundown and shorten battery life, the Apple may not wish it to be so in general so who wins?

    1. strangefish

      because the iphone

      is reknowned for its excellent battery life?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        RE: because the iphone

        Turning off WiFi mode helps.

        ...but even with it turned on all the time, mine has a battery life twice as long as the Motorola I owned before it!

    2. Basic
      Flame

      Hmmmm

      "And, as we all know, batteries only only good for a finite number of recharges yes?"

      And then you just -er- change the battery? Oh wait...

      [I'm sorry, yours was a well worded, well reasoned post designed to avoid flames but I just couldn't resist]

      Putting aside for the moment which route you prefer (open/closed), I don't think the arguments you use are entirely valid - There are any number of ways to avoid your scenario (something like Flashblock for Firefox - You need to click before the flash is loaded for example)

      I don't doubt there are reasons which may or may not be valid but I don't believe they're the ones you've pointed out. I'd guess something like:

      Preventing interpreted code radically reduces the risk of an attacker compromising the phone (same for no background tasks - Can't have a virus with no CPU power...). This makeds the phone more secure / reliable / less likely to be an IT headache.

      Personally, I'd prefer the additional functionality and accept that if I'm stupid enough to download "Really_Cool_IM_Chat_Icon_Buddy_Pro" (tm) then I deserve whatever I get - But as you said each to their own :)

    3. blackworx
      Jobs Horns

      All ostensibly valid points, except...

      I seem to recall being able to deactivate Flash on pretty much every browser I've ever used, and on top of that if Apple actually made their batteries consumer-replaceable (or, for that matter, half decent) then it wouldn't be nearly so much of an issue.

    4. Ian Yates
      Thumb Down

      @AC

      While I get your point, you're arguing that a closed hardware/software empire is better because it doesn't allow for animated ads...

      Firstly, battery usage is far more relevant to the duration of screen usage than a few moving images on the screen; secondly, the Flash not being supported thing isn't really the same issue at all (well, certainly not for hardware).

      Regardless, surely consumer choice (i.e., the choice of showing Flash adverts or not) should be more important than ruling with an iron fist?

      I must be wrong, though, as the iPhone sells so well.

      Maybe I'd have got one, but the forced iTunes tie-in (awful software) and the nerve to charge developers sent me to Android, which I think is a brilliant system (though maybe not quite as usefriendly).

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    I kinda feel sorry for ... (part 2)

    An elucidation for the blinkered?

    In my earlier post I stated "closed hardware" and it really should be "more closed hardware than others".

    For why you might ask and it would be a good call for justification for sure.

    I suppose the market broadly splits into "more tightly closed" and "more loosely closed".

    For why? Explain! (Did I hear you ask?)

    Well, try to install any Windows 95 application on a modern machine. In most probability it will baulk hence we can safely conclude that there is no such thing as an open architecture for a variety of reasons so safely conclude the main options on hardware are more tightly closed and less tightly closed.

    'nuff said?

    1. prathlev
      FAIL

      Fell sorry all you want

      I'm sure others feel the same way about you too. :-)

      You're rambling. A closed hardware interface (whatever that exactly means) consumes less power? Arguably true. Very interesting. In no way proven by what you write.

      I really really feel sorry for you when you take Windows 95 as an example of the problems/advantages regarding closed/open hardware. Please show me what kind of hardware can cope with clearly very buggy software.

      Have you ever heard of AS/400 and how that works? Or how source code following strict specifications (like C99) tends to work no matter what underlying hardware is used?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Gates Horns

        RE: Feel sorry all you want

        "I really really feel sorry for you when you take Windows 95 as an example of the problems/advantages regarding closed/open hardware. Please show me what kind of hardware can cope with clearly very buggy software."

        I can't *show* you but I can *tell* you...

        "Any hardware that runs any version of Windows"

        Admittedly, there's no hardware I know of that can magically swallow the bugs.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        N900

        Actually there's a video on YouTube of Windows 95 running in a window on the Nokia N900 phone. God knows why anybody would want to do it, but just that you can shows how open its possible to be even on a phone.

        The only reason Apple want to keep interpreted software off their phone is to keep a revenue stream coming in from the App Store. If you choose to feel privileged because you are locked in a pretty cage that's your choice. To the rest of us your still just in a cage.

        1. Trevor Pott o_O Gold badge

          Not remotely an apple fan, but...

          "The only reason Apple want to keep interpreted software off their phone is to keep a revenue stream coming in from the App Store. If you choose to feel privileged because you are locked in a pretty cage that's your choice. To the rest of us your still just in a cage."

          That doesn't ring quite right. I keep reading that the App store is a loss leader for Apple. If true, then I can only think of one reason for the control-freakery on Apple's behalf: liability.

          Control what gets on your device ruthlessly, and you control the number of stupid people win court cases aginst you because little Timmy is running an app you disaprove of.

          If anyone has a better theory that fits the facts, I'm completely open to it...

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Paris Hilton

        True and truer still yet ... ?

        Tightly closed hardware:

        very tightly identified bits with very little opportunity (or desire?) to swap out those bits

        Loosely closed hardware

        easily swappable, very little identification between those bits but snag it up and the whole might not work very well at all

    2. Steve the Cynic
      FAIL

      @Feeling sorry, kinda

      Lots of apps designed to run on W95 reject being installed on Windows NT (2K == NT5, XP == NT5.1, Vista == NT6, 7=NT6.1) because at the time, Windows NT did not support a big long list of APIs and such that were introduced with Windows 95. Most of these APIs were very useful, e.g. DirectX (NT4SP4 did not exist until much later, hell even NT4noSP didn't exist for another year), 32-to-16-bit thunks, because they allowed easier graphics or an easier transition from Windows 3.x. Lacking a crystal ball, the developers did not see that in the future Microsoft would add support for this stuff to the NT line in another 5-10 years...

    3. heyrick Silver badge

      W95 apps on a modern machine

      I have. Many of them work just fine.

      Of my own apps, the majority will work from W95 through to Vista. I know fewer people with Windows7 so the level of feedback is obviously lower.

      Of the one biggie that doesn't work, it is because I use a DLL to bit-bash IIC to the parallel port. You could pull that sort of crap in Win32. Under the NT kernel, you need more respect. Or at least a tool to authorise your application to directly access hardware. Which is what I have in place on XP. Don't know if it works under Vista or Win7, and frankly I couldn't give a crap because not only is teletext soon to be an anachronism, so too are parallel ports. The software is reaching the end of its life cycle.

      I think you'll find the greater problem is trying to get applications using XP-like APIs working under older versions of Windows; but that isn't what you said. So excuse me if I don't understand the point you're trying to make...

  11. Solomon Grundy

    Good Start

    Opera is a fine product but the people running the company have almost killed any chance at success. Glad to see the recent changes in management are doing some good. Hopefully they make it.

    1. James Howat

      Almost killed any chance at success?

      Seriously, Opera Mini is the most-used mobile browser in the world today. Opera is not a small player here, and they're making plenty of money of the back of it.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why the fuss?

    I can't see a basis for rejection of Opera Mini. I've used it before on other platforms and it makes an image of the page with hotspots and squirts it to the 'browser'. It's a different beast from Safari and not interpreting code. In technology terms it's not much different from using something like LogMeIn, and that's perfectly at home in the app store.

    I would download it and have a look, but it always seemed a bit cumbersome on other platforms. I even preferred the native Blackberry browser to Opera Mini, although the page rendering was better on Opera (fonts were terrible, though). The interface always got in the way.

    The truth is, it's not serious competition for Safari.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Opera mini makes no sense on iPhone

    ...nor on Android, for that matter.

    Opera Mini was originally built back in the days of Wap and low-powered devices which couldn't manage rendering and couldn't display anything other than bare HTML/Text.

    These days, with the webkit-based browsers on Android and iPhone, and the CPU power available (600Mhz or above) and the GPU + screen quality, there is no reason whatsoever not to use the native browser on the device. Using my Nexus on 3G, I get a similar browsing experience to that of a full PC, even with a 3G/HSDPA connection. On wifi, it's mind-blowingly fast. Javascript renders/executes fine. The iPhone browsing experience is just as good.

    So WTF would people run an inferior browser on their device? I think Opera is barking up the wrong tree here.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Opera does indeed make sense on the iPhone

      Opera MIni was launched worldwide in 2006, dear child.

      Opera Mini inferior? It compresses data up to 90%, which makes page rendering much faster, and data costs much lower. Doesn't sound inferior to me.

      Opera Mini makes sense on any phone because you will always have situations with poor network connections, and expensive data transfers.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Does it matter?

    Does it matter whether Apple accept it or not!?

    Their timing leading upto the WMC will focus attention on Opera and its other range of products, what better way to get lots of free publicity and promotion than to play a "nice fluffy nowegians" vs "nasty apple fascists".

    Whilst people are talking about this battle and raising awarenes of the new generation of "Opera" family of products, that they are about to release!?

    Those without iphones may try mobile opera on their Nokia phones etc, or heaven forbid - maybe they will give Opera a run out on thier PC opposed to Firefox/IE

    of course, apple could approve it and then what do opera do in future to whip up interest in a new set or product releases?

    Paris, as she probably allows executable code by the back door!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      It does matter

      Opera is trying to focus attention on the iPhone because they want to be on the iPhone.

      This is not just a game to get attention for other products. They really want to be on the iPhone. They want to be on EVERYTHING.

  15. Ken Hagan Gold badge
    Dead Vulture

    A no brainer

    Of course Apple will approve it. Conceptually this is just server-side scripting (ish) or RDP (ish, again). Apple can't possibly object to someone running code on a remote server and serving up the results as a web page. They'd have to block the entire internet if they did.

    Apple's motive is control over what executes on their hardware. That may be partly control freakery, but it is also security common sense. If you don't exercise *any* control over the execution of untrusted code you end up with the Windows eco-system. If you think multiple user-accounts and system administration are too heavy for a phone (and you may be right) you can't use "normal" OS-level security, so what's left?

  16. TeeCee Gold badge
    Thumb Down

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

  17. petur
    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

  18. DrXym Silver badge

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Opera Mini is not crap

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

      1. Unus Radix
        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.

  19. Alan_Peery

    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.

  20. Bilgepipe
    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes, JS

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

  21. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. Steen Hive

      @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.

  22. Willy
    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.

  23. Martin Nicholls
    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      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.

    2. Martin Nicholls
      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.

    3. Puck
      Thumb Up

      "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.

      1. Unus Radix
        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.]

  25. SlabMan

    Just tried to install Internet Explorer on my Blackberry

    It wouldn't let me. Damn monopolists!

    1. Martin Nicholls
      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.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  27. Gil Grissum
    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!!!!

  28. Snert Lee

    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.

  29. Paul Banacks
    Alert

    Defective by Design

    I won't buy iAnything.

  30. Charles King

    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.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    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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