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.
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.