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.

On one hand, the folks at Opera are acting as if they don’t know this. “Opera has put every effort into creating a customized, stylized, feature-rich and highly responsive browser that masterfully combines iPhone capabilities with Opera’s renowned Web experience, and the result is a high performing browser for the iPhone,” said Jon von Tetzchner, co-founder of Opera Software.

On the other, Opera launched a counter, measuring how much time has passed since Opera Mini has been submitted to the App Store. Below, there’s a poll, asking visitors the following: “When do you think Opera Mini will be approved by Apple? The closest guess wins a brand new iPhone!”

It’s hard to say whether the folks at Opera really think that Apple will cave in under a bit of pressure like that and approve Opera Mini or if they’re expecting the app to be denied, and are trying to make a bit of a fuss about it even before it happens.

What do you think? Will Apple approve Opera Mini? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Tags: apple, iphone, mobile apps, opera, opera mini