Opera’s having fun with Apple. After months of ‘will they or won’t they’ uncertainty regarding Opera Mini’s status, the company has finally submitted the app, and has placed a cheeky ‘countup’ timer on its website. Almost immediately, Mashable fired up its bullshit machine, with Stan Schroeder stating the following in the article Opera Mini Submitted to Apple’s App Store. Your Move, Apple:

Opera is playing a somewhat odd game with Apple. Their Opera Mini and Opera Mobile browsers are great mobile browsers, but the iPhone already has a great mobile browser — Safari.

This fact alone wouldn’t be that big of a problem if Apple’s rules weren’t prohibiting other apps to duplicate the functionality of their own apps. Simply put, if Apple doesn’t suddenly change that policy, Opera Mini, which Opera has now officially submitted to the App Store, doesn’t stand a chance of being approved.

I don’t dispute the fact Apple has in the past used the ‘duplicate functionality’ excuse to block apps, but it’s been rarely used of late, and to suggest it’s policy is bullshit. Either that or Weather Pro and PCalc on my iPhone (which clearly duplicate functionality of Apple’s own Weather and Calculator apps) are figments of my imagination. Also, there are dozens of web browsers on the App Store. Sure, they’re all WebKit-based, but if Apple blocked all Safari wannabes, none of them would be available for download.

No-one knows (bar, possibly, some senior staff at Apple) what’s in store for Opera Mini, but if it does get denied a place on the App Store, it won’t be because of duplicate functionality (unless someone on the App Store review team is being an idiot)—it’ll be for some other reason, such as APIs used or the funky means by which Opera Mini serves content: through Opera-run proxy servers, returning pages as images in the OBML format, and entirely removing end-to-end security from the equation.