Can you feel the tension? Opera is now in the throes of the App Store approval process. The wait is on to see if Apple will loosen its grip and approve the fast (very fast) Opera Mini browser for iPhone app that we checked out at MWC. Remember, Opera Mini relies on Opera's servers to render and compress pages before sending them back to the iPhone for display. As such, there's no code interpretation being done by the software -- a definite no no for approval. So the only thing that could cause Apple to reject the app would be a perceived duplication of core iPhone functionality even though it already approved several WebKit-based browsers. Whatever happens, this is going to be good.

Update: Opera just threw up a counter tracking how long the approval process has taken. You know, 'cause everyone likes to be backed into a corner. Makes you wonder if Opera is serious about this or just doing it for the publicity -- one of several angles we mulled earlier.

Opera Mini for iPhone submitted to Apple for approval (video)

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Opera Mini submitted to Apple's App Store

Oslo, Norway – March 23, 2010

Opera Mini for iPhone was officially submitted to the Apple iPhone App store today. A select few first saw it at Mobile World Congress 2010 in February. Now, the "fast like a rocket" browser is taking its first big step towards giving users a new way to browse on the iPhone.

Early reviews of Opera Mini for iPhone praised the sheer browsing speed, powering through Web pages up to six times faster than Safari. Due to server-side rendering, Opera Mini compresses data by up to 90 percent before sending it to the phone, resulting in rapid page loading and more Web per MB for the end user. Those familiar with iPhone roaming charges will relish Opera Mini's ability to deliver more for less, giving users the Web they want quickly, without, the high costs.

"The Opera Mini for iPhone sneak peek during MWC told us that we have something special," said Jon von Tetzchner, Co-founder, Opera Software. "Opera has put every effort into creating a customized, stylized, feature-rich and highly responsive browser that masterfully combines iPhone capabilities with Opera's renowned Web experience, and the result is a high performing browser for the iPhone."

Opera Mini is the world's most popular mobile Web browser, famed for bringing the Web to nearly any mobile phone. Its speed, usability and navigation-friendly design have catapulted this browser onto more than 50 million mobile phones worldwide. Creating a version for iPhone is part of Opera's mission to bring the Web to all platforms and all devices.

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Opera Mini for iPhone submitted to Apple for approval (video)