Opera reports that its alternative mobile browser for the iPhone, Opera Mini, has been approved by Apple. First previewed at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February, Opera Mini for the iPhone is intended to provide an alternative to the iPhone’s native Safari browser, promising significantly faster browsing speeds due to data compression on Opera’s servers. Opera Mini was submitted to Apple in March amidst much speculation as to whether it would be approved by Apple due to past restrictions placed on third-party browsers and other applications which duplicated existing iPhone functionality or executed third-party code on the device. While Apple has been approving other mobile browsers for the iPhone for over a year, Opera Mini is the first iPhone browser that does not use Apple’s WebKit engine. Opera Mini will be a free download and is expected to be available on the App Store within the next 24 hours.
Update: Opera Mini is now available from the App Store as a free download.