For some time Opera has been developing a mobile browser for the iPhone. At the Mobile World Congress this past February, Opera demonstrated a working version of its Opera Mini browser working on the iPhone as well as working versions of Opera on Windows Mobile and Android phones.
Today, Opera has submitted their Opera Mini browser application to the Apple App Store. In fact, they’ve made sure everyone knows exactly when they submitted it: Public Count-Up to Approval. They have even engaged the community to guess on the approval date and time, by offering up an iPhone to the closest guess.
According to www.w3schools.com Opera has one of the lowest browser adoption rates. However, if Opera is able to provide an alternative browsing experience across the mobile web then perhaps they could acquire a larger market share that is still largely untapped and not fought for - the mobile-web. The approval process in the Apple App Store has not yet had clear or transparent approval criteria set out; often leaving App developers to wonder if or when their applications will make it to market. The users are left in the dark as well, such as when the official Google Voice App was not approved. By releasing a public ‘count-up’ of the time since Opera’s mobile browser has been submitted, it may shed some light on this issue for developers around the world and serve as a masterful PR tactic. This could also have implications for the upcoming Windows Phone 7 Series. Will Microsoft allow 3rd party browsers on their new platform or attempt to restrict it to an IE based browser as Apple restricts the iPhone to Safari? Ultimately, the question is: How will this change the future of the Mobile Web?