Users of the Apple iPhone have been complaining about Safari being the only real browser available on the handset since it came out. But with the release of Opera Mini, there is now some opportunity for choice.

While Opera has graced more devices than you can shake a stick at – Windows, Mac OS, Wii, Nintendo DS, mobile handsets – its introduction to the iPhone is monumental because, up until now, Apple hasn’t approved the presence of competing browsers on its handset.

We’ve been using it and we can say the following:

“Whoa. It’s fast.”

Opera achieves its speedy performance by compressing web pages up to 90 percent before loading them. While your phone normally has to download and work with each piece of data, here a server is doing all the hard work, leaving you with faster load times. While this is more noticeable on 2G iPhones, 3G users will also be able to receive their web pages faster than ever.

Opera Mini for the iPhone is currently free and supports passwords, a speed dial start page to let you get to your favourite websites quickly, auto-completing fields, and tabs.