The Norwegian company that makes the Opera Internet browser said on Tuesday that its software had been approved for use on the iPhone, making it the first browser that competes with Apple’s own software to gain full access to the device, The New York Times reports. The software, which promotes faster browsing by compressing Internet data before displaying it on a mobile device, will be available on the iPhone and iPod Touch by Wednesday. In the United States, the Opera Mini browser is primarily found on the BlackBerry. Opera, which said it had 50 million users of its mobile browser before the announcement, planned to give away the Opera Mini at Apple’s application store. The distribution through Apple would help Opera generate more revenue from the advertising and search engines that the company builds into its browser.

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staff and wire services reports