Yesterday, we announced that Opera Mini has been submitted to the iPhone App Store. It seems that independent tests confirm that it wipes the floor with Safari when it comes to speed, at least on slower connections.
We have a page counting the time since the application was submitted for approval, and you can win an iPhone if you correctly guess how long the approval process takes. …
The problem is that I don't think it should be necessary to ask for approval in order to create applications for a platform, but this seems to be becoming the norm rather than the exception.
And the consequence is less choice for the user.
The day before we submitted Opera Mini to the App Store, Mozilla announced that they are halting development for both Windows Mobile and Windows Phone because the former has no future, while the latter is as closed as the iPhone.
This is a huge loss, because people need more choice in browsers rather than less. The mobile Web needs a proper Gecko browser, because we don't want just one or two browser engines to dominate. As history has shown, the fewer browsers, the messier the Web.
Mobile phones will most likely overtake the PC as the most common type of device on the Web, and we risk returning to a stalled Web with no innovation because walled gardens prevent choice. Lack of choice means lack of competition. Lack of competition means stagnation.
At least we have our cross-platform UI framework and Opera Mini which can be used even where there is a lack of native development environment, but but I think people should be allowed a choice in full, standalone browsers as well.
And they shouldn't have to wait for someone else to make the choice for them.