Even after a change to the WebKit-based Chromium and Google's V8, Opera would have to do the same to win Apple's approval. And once in the App Store, Opera -- like Chrome -- will have its work cut out for it.
"As most new smartphones have strong built-in browsers, this may be a long-term challenge for Opera," said Hilwa when asked whether the shift to WebKit would give Opera a better chance of competing with much larger rivals like Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari. "However, Opera plays in a variety of other areas that device platforms do not really play at, such as embedded devices."
Chrome has had little success on iOS. January data from Web metrics firm Net Applications, which tracks mobile browser usage, does not even list Chrome 23, the current version for iOS. Meanwhile, Net Application said Safari accounted for 61% of all mobile browser usage.
Opera will demonstrate a WebKit-based Android browser at the Mobile World Congress, which opens on Feb. 25 in Barcelona. "We're all hands on Android right now," Lie said.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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