We first heard of Opera's intentions to switch to WebKit back in January, following the release of a leaked internal video which made mention of the 'Ice' browser. Today, Opera has confirmed the move in a statement which also pins their user base now at 300 million. Whatever 'Ice' turns out to be will have to wait, but Opera's new browser for Android will be on show for the first time at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in a couple of weeks.
That's not to say that 'Ice' isn't real though, Opera has confirmed its existence as one a series of R&D projects:
Opera is also experimenting with WebKit in several research and development projects, and many of you got a peek of one of them, codenamed ‘ICE’, last month. As a leading innovator in browsers, we are very excited that ICE received such great buzz. We will provide more information about ICE and other exciting R&D projects in the future, but as we are also really proud of our new browser on Android and our Opera Web Pass operator offering, those products will be the main focus at MWC
In addition to WebKit, Opera also intends to make use of the Chromium Project too in future releases of its browsers for both computers and mobile devices. Of course, we'll be on the ground in Barcelona as everything unfolds starting in little under 2 weeks.