Opera Mini heads for the iPhone

Ever since Firefox ruled out bringing its browser to the iPhone we'd given up hope of seeing a Safari alternative on the App store. But Norwegian brow

Ever since Firefox ruled out bringing its browser to the iPhone we'd given up hope of seeing a Safari alternative on the App store. But Norwegian browser king Opera never stopped believing and it's finally announced a version of its Opera Mini browser for iPhone.

It's an app that's long been mooted, but Opera has announced that it'll be showing it off for the first time at Mobile World Congress next week. The browser will apparently offer up to six times faster download speeds than mobile Safari and significantly cut data traffic.

Of course, this may prove to be far too compelling for Apple to allow Opera Mini onto the App Store. It hasn't been shy in blocking apps that directly rival its own software – see Google Voice – but Opera's public move puts it in a tricky situation.

We hope it's shamed into giving it the rubber stamp – Opera Mini's tabbed pages and speed combined with the iPhone's multitouch sounds like a match made in mobile browsing heaven.