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Opera uncloaks browser for Apple fondleslabs

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Opera has developed a version of its Opera Mini browser for the Apple iPad, and it intends to show the thing off next week at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The company alluded to the browser with a press release on Thursday morning, saying it will also demonstrate new versions of Opera Mini for Android, iPhone, J2ME, BlackBerry, and Symbian. A company spokesman told us the company will not be officially introducing the browser in Barcelona, but merely "previewing" it. No date for its official release has been set.

Apple still bars third-party applications from interpreting code on iOS devices, so Opera can't put its full-fledged Opera for Tablets browser on the iPad. But with Opera Mini, all webpages are sent through proxy servers and compressed before they're sent down to the browser, so no code is interpreted on the device. Apple allowed an iPhone incarnation of Opera Mini into the Apple App Store last year.

Unveiled this fall, Opera for Tablets is designed for Android, and it's based on the company's Opera Mobile browser, which can use Opera's proxy servers but doesn't by default. In Barcelona, Opera will also introduce new versions of Opera Mobile for Android and Symbian.

Opera also announced today that more 100 million people now use an Opera browser on their mobile phones. According to the company, 90.4 million people use Opera Mini every month and roughly 15 million people use Opera Mobile. Opera Mini is ideal for phones with low-bandwidth connections, including feature phones, because it taps into those proxy servers. ®

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