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Opera: Apple won't let us in the App Store

Opera Software CEO Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner said in a New York Times interview yesterday that its engineers have developed a version of the Opera web browser that works on the iPhone, but Apple has rejected it for the App Store because it competes with Safari.

This isn't unprecedented: Apple rejected an app called Podcaster possibly because it duplicates functionality in an upcoming version of the iPhone software. Podcaster was (for a time) available via ad-hoc distribution before that, too, was shut down.

Daring Fireball's John Gruber suggests that Apple rejected Opera because the browser included its own JavaScript interpreter, something forbidden by the iPhone SDK developer agreement.

Opera makes two flavors of its mobile web browser: Opera Mini for most mobile phones, BlackBerry, Palm, or Windows Mobile; and Opera Mobile, a more featured version for Symbian and Windows Mobile. A beta version of Opera Mini for Android is also in development.

Update: Gruber used his massive Rolodex over the weekend to determine through an unnamed source that the app may not have even been submitted to the App Store. Huh.