Is this the greatest attempt to provoke App Store wrath since the submission of Spotify?
Hoping for similar (surprising fortune) Opera has today announced that it has submitted a port of its Opera Mini browser to Apple for approval in the App Store. It is also seeking to force Apple's hand with a new website that tracks the time since Opera Mini was submitted (comic genius!).
Of course Apple is infamously strict on barring any app that it deems 'duplicates' core iPhone OS functionality, but it has broken this rule a few times with the likes of third party mail clients and - most famously - apps with overlapping functionality such as Spotify.
My guess is Apple will say no, but that would be a shame - not only since it denies users choice, but also because Opera claims Mini offers major performance benefits over the already quick mobile Safari (see the video above) and it would be good to see if that bears out in real world scenarios. Then again, if Apple does say yes it will create a precedent and inevitably lead to a deluge of such apps.
We're keeping our fingers (naively) crossed...
In related news Mozilla has announced it will can all development of its Firefox Mobile browser on Windows Mobile 6.5 given its impending death and has no plans to offer it for Windows Phone 7 Series until Microsoft allows third party apps the same system rights as core applications.
With this unlikely to be cleared up for some time, and also coupled with the fact that Microsoft is unlikely to be keen to have Internet Explorer mobile replaced by third party alternatives (no matter how desirable that would be for us) I suspect this could lead to an impasse for some time...