Safari on the iPhone is by no means a bad mobile browser — in fact, it’s arguably the best one out there. Just because people have something good doesn’t mean they don’t want to peek at what else is out there, though. Even if someone’s dating the finest supermodel in all the lands, they’ll still sneak casual glances at other potential mates. Its just human nature. People like having options.
For quite some time, Apple blocked third-party apps that challenged those that came on the handset out of the box, citing “duplication of functionality”. When Opera submitted the Opera Mini browser to the App Store, much ado was made over whether or not it would be approved. It was — and naturally, people looked. 2.6 million of them, in just 2 weeks.
This morning, Opera announced that 2.6 million people used Opera Mini on the iPhone from its April 13th launch until April 30th. The iPhone immediately rocketed up to claim the crown as their most popular device (in the US), followed by the Blackberry 8330 (Curve), LG Lotus, and the Instinct S30.
Of course, a pretty big chunk of the credit for Opera’s success has to be given to the fact that it was, in some sense, considered “contraband”. Tons of outlets (including ours) made a bit of a fuss when it finally got greenlit, which presumably gave the app a pretty unnatural push. The real indication of the app’s success on the platform will be in whether it maintains growth after the post-launch rush, and whether or not people actually use it after downloading it. We’ll have to wait a few more months for those numbers to come out.
A few more interesting bits from Opera’s announcement today: