OK, so Opera went and did the marginally unthinkable and convinced Apple to approve the Opera Mini web browser for the iPhone App Store — even though it kind of directly competes with Apple’s Safari web browser. Now the folks at Skyfire want to follow in Opera’s footsteps and get in on the iPhone action.
Thing is… now that Opera is in Apple’s good graces, Skyfire might actually have a chance. That’s because like Opera, Skyfire uses remote compression to speed up page load speeds. Basically when you enter a URL in the mobile web browser, Skyfire sends the requests to its remote servers which compress some of the data before delivering it to your phone
One thing that Skyfire can do that Opera currently can’t is to even compress Adobe Flash content before sending it to a mobile device. Right now Skyfire offers mobile browsers for Windows Mobile and Symbian phones — but a version for iPhone and iPod touch could be particularly exciting, because right now there’s no way to view Flash video content on an iPhone. Skyfire could provide a workaround by remotely converting the video into a format the iPhone can handle.
I suspect we’ll see additional browser makers push to get onto the iPhone as well — but unless they can offer something that Safari doesn’t, I suspect they won’t have as much success as Opera has.
There’s no word on just how close Skyfire is to launching an iPhone/iPad/iPod touch version of its web browser. But in a company blog post, Skyfire’s Jeff Glueck writes that the team will “certainly accelerate our strategy on iDevices.” In the meantime, we already know that Skyfire is working on a Google Android version of its software, and a BlackBerry version is also in the works.