Opera Mini now Awaiting Approval for the Apple App Store

After what seems like a long wait, Opera Mini has now been submitted to the Apple App store for approval. If approved it will bring a very fast mobile browsing experience to the Apple [AAPL] iPhone. Speed tests indicate that pages load up to five times faster than the current standard Safari browser that comes supplied with every iPhone.

The mobile phone browser achieves the high speed by doing server side compression before the page is downloaded. The Opera Mini servers are capable of compressing down images and HTML by up to 90% before the data is transmitted to the phone. This saves both the time it takes to download the page as well as using far less amounts of data saving money in some situations.

“The Opera Mini for iPhone sneak peek during MWC told us that we have something special,” said Jon von Tetzchner, Co-founder, Opera Software. “Opera has put every effort into creating a customized, stylized, feature-rich and highly responsive browser that masterfully combines iPhone capabilities with Opera’s renowned Web experience, and the result is a high performing browser for the iPhone.”

Lets hope the browser gets approved and that it does work as demonstrated in the video below. What we see below is a speed test of two identical iPhones with one loading a page with Opera and the other Safari. The NYT site loads on each browser with 5 pages on opera being viewed in full before Safari has finished loading 1 page. That’s certainly a speed improvement there.

However, I do wonder if the compression servers that run will be able to cope with the demands if many users are connected at the same time. Hopefully that won’t break the service at all.

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