Opera, the admirable yet often un-admired cross-platform web browser alternative to Internet Explorer on the PC, Safari on the Mac, and Firefox pretty much everywhere, was considered by Apple to be the original baked-in surfing standard for the iPhone?


That's pretty much what we thought too, though Valleywag stands behind the story:

Before the first iPhone was released, Apple wanted Opera to build the browser for the iPhone, says a source. Negotiations dragged on for six months, the sticking point being exclusivity — Apple wanted it, but Opera was unwilling to commit, seeing a larger market for licensing its proprietary software to multiple handset manufacturers.

Valleywag says, if true, Opera made a huge miscalculation, give the iPhone's unprecedented mobile browsing market share. We say... shenanigans! Unless we're talking history so ancient Bill Gates was floating overhead at Macworld announcing IE as the default Apple browser, this just doesn't seem logical, reasonable, or rational.

As any longtime reader of this site knows, the iPhone started life as a tablet concept device called... (wait for it...) Safari Pad. Pretty big clue right there in the name as to what browser Apple was leaning towards, wouldn't you say? (We would).

Likewise, Apple was willing to throw away devote resources to a Windows version of Safari, never mind Steve Jobs' near totalitarian approach to keeping things in the Apple ecosystem (after having been burned one to many times by licensed technology).

Stranger bedfellows have tech made (see IE on Mac, above) but we're filing this one under EPIC NO! for now...