Last week, I wrote about a New York Times story that reported that Opera has written a version of its browser for the iPhone but had it rejected by Apple. Daring Fireball’s John Gruber has a good follow-up post in which he combines reporting, technical analysis, and some scuttlebutt from an informed source to theorize that Opera’s browser–and in this case, as he notes, it’s Opera Mini rather than the fancier Opera Mobile–may not actually have been rejected by Apple, and that its issues on the iPhone may have to do with the fact that it’s a Java app, and the iPhone doesn’t do Java.
Like much relating to iPhone development, this is all pretty murky–but Gruber’s post is illuminating even if his parsing of what may have happened isn’t 100% correct. Go read.
I persist in the belief that iPhone owners shouldn’t have to worry about issues of Java and software interepreters and SDKs and NDAs and such: There’s surely an audience for Opera on the iPhone, and there oughta be a way for Opera to satisfy that audience. And Apple should err on the side of making it possible for third parties to quickly ramp up the catalog of iPhone apps rather than putting obstacles in their way.
I also persist in suspecting that even if the iPhone is less than completely open right now, it will open up over time–competition with other platforms such as Google’s Android will leave Apple with no choice. It’s mainly a question of whether that opening up will happen really quickly or will drag on forever. I hope…