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Mozilla: No Firefox browser for iOS

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Mozilla: No Firefox browser for iOS
At SXSW, Mozilla's VP of Product, Jay Sullivan, told an audience watching a panel on the mobile browser wars that because of Apple's unwelcoming attitude toward third party browsers, there will be no Firefox for iOS mobile browser app. Apple stacks the deck to make third party browsers feel unwelcome. For example, mobile Safari uses the fast Nitro JavaScript engine while Apple forces third party browsers to use the slower UIWebView. This gives mobile Safari a big edge in performance.

The closest Firefox has been to having a browser on iOS was when it released Firefox Home for iOS back in 2010. Not a browser, the app brought to iOS bookmarks, browsing history and any open tabs from the Firefox browser on a home computer. Firefox eventually pulled it from the App Store last September.

Firefox's Sullivan (L) and Dolphin's Dehgahn sat on the panel

Firefox's Sullivan (L) and Dolphin's Dehgahn sat on the panel

The main reason for staying away from iOS, Sullivan said, was because the restrictions placed on it by Apple would prevent it from building the kind of browser that it wants to be for Apple users. But not taking the chance to at least try to capture some eyes will hurt Firefox in terms of market share. The new Firefox OS will allow Mozilla to grab market share from users of low priced phones using its OS. But right now, Firefox has less than 1% of the mobile browser market while mobile Safari has a controlling 55%.

Both Sullivan and Dolphin Browser Chief Software Architect David Dehgahn told the audience that by closing its web environment, Apple is making consumers suffer. But an informal poll taken with the panel audience found that a majority of them were using an iOS device and that very few were suffering. That is the realistic challenge that Firefox and other third party browsers face on iOS.

source: CNET

44 Comments
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posted on 10 Mar 2013, 19:18 22

1. 14545 (Posts: 1113; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


Can someone explain how apple isn't being brought up on antitrust charges over this? I just don't get how they can't be penalized for this if MS can? I get there are *slightly* different circumstances involved, but not enough to say that apple shouldn't taken out back and slapped on the wrist for it.

posted on 10 Mar 2013, 19:28 16

3. dmakun (Posts: 182; Member since: 06 Jun 2011)


A slap on the wrist! More like a knock on the forehead. This is why I feel sad for people who spend a dime for this company. The consumer should have choice!

posted on 10 Mar 2013, 21:08 7

9. axllebeer (Posts: 265; Member since: 05 Apr 2011)


I have to say, I had the ipad mini, then sold it in favor of the Note 10.1 and it was the best decision I ever made as far as a tablet switch. I also have the BlackBerry PlayBook and the ipad doesnt even compare to it for real mobile computing.

posted on 10 Mar 2013, 21:17 2

10. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 3567; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


I disagree.

posted on 10 Mar 2013, 21:59 8

13. axllebeer (Posts: 265; Member since: 05 Apr 2011)


And that is your opinion, which is ok by me. A mobile device without a real file system is useless to me.

posted on 11 Mar 2013, 01:00 2

22. Ohrules (Posts: 316; Member since: 11 Jun 2012)


so that means that you have reason to find htc devices useless too

posted on 11 Mar 2013, 08:55 1

34. axllebeer (Posts: 265; Member since: 05 Apr 2011)


Nope. Not even sure what you mean there. Android has a file system, BB does too. Drag and drop without extra software is where its at. Not having to use a bloated turd like itunes to get files on and off my devices is what turns me off of a platform 1st and foremost.
HTC is my daily driver for a phone. BlackBerry was before my last one broke.

posted on 11 Mar 2013, 11:55

41. Ohrules (Posts: 316; Member since: 11 Jun 2012)


and does it have a dedicated file manager built in? the HTC that you have

posted on 11 Mar 2013, 02:19 1

23. rusticguy (Posts: 2828; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)


Yes because Apple operates much like Columbian DRUG Lord selling drugs ... all those who are hooked to their supplies always disagree with anyone trying to talk sense :)

posted on 11 Mar 2013, 02:33 4

25. Sangeet (Posts: 232; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


The dislikes on your comment proves that you are wrong :D

posted on 10 Mar 2013, 19:43 7

4. AnTuTu (Posts: 816; Member since: 14 Oct 2012)


Well done Mozilla :)

posted on 10 Mar 2013, 19:57 3

5. Hemlocke (unregistered)


You are either too young to remember Microsoft in the 90s and early 2000s, or you are just naive. They were abusing their monopoly, and at one point, paying the government $1 million a day in fines rather than comply with antitrust regulators. Apple has no monopoly to abuse.

posted on 10 Mar 2013, 21:18 3

11. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 3567; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


You had to use Windows. Apple isn't putting a gun to anyone's head and forcing them to use their well made products.

posted on 11 Mar 2013, 00:24 4

20. AnTuTu (Posts: 816; Member since: 14 Oct 2012)


Again I feel pity on you Mxyzptlk.
No one gives a hell to what you say lolz

posted on 11 Mar 2013, 02:21 1

24. rusticguy (Posts: 2828; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)


Apple is sitting over that gun barrel so how can they put it to anyone's head. Market will pull the trigger ... see how apple is scrambling towards making a plastic phone just because market is not responding well :)

posted on 11 Mar 2013, 02:36 3

26. Sangeet (Posts: 232; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


they are not forcing but they are avoiding competition by restricting the full use of hardware for other browsers, ex: chrome.
In other words they are forcing people to use Safari

posted on 11 Mar 2013, 18:24

44. 14545 (Posts: 1113; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


Really? So you're saying that Apple didn't sell computers during that time? Interesting......
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_Apple_Inc._products

MS had no more of a monopoly then, than Google does now with Android or search. I get you just throw crap at the wall and see what sticks, but at least try and get a simple clue before you speak.

posted on 11 Mar 2013, 18:20

43. 14545 (Posts: 1113; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


What does this have to do with what I said? You don't have choice within the OS. Just like how netscape sue MS in the early 2000's. This is EXACTLY THE SAME THING. Then there is this. It has nothing to do with the OS, and everything to do with browser choice.
http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9237374/EU_fines_Microsoft_732M_over_browser_ballot_debacle
Or just like how the FTC investigated google over being the default search provider in android. Yet mysteriously apple is exempt from any of this. PS, when android was investigated over their search choice issues, iirc, they had less market share than apple does currently.

posted on 11 Mar 2013, 08:06 2

33. jroc74 (Posts: 4836; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


I agree with this.

Handicapping other browsers should be against some law.

posted on 10 Mar 2013, 19:18 17

2. dirtydirty00 (Posts: 257; Member since: 21 Jan 2011)


Who cares about iOS anyway anymore. let them be closed minded and ignorant. History has shown that it is not kind to companies who operate with these kind of stubborn philosophies. once the apple craze wears away, so will apple.

posted on 11 Mar 2013, 09:40

38. JunitoNH (Posts: 907; Member since: 15 Feb 2012)


@dirty

you either to ignorant or naive, or maybe both. I'll tell you who cares about iOS, developers and Google. Did you know Google makes more money from iOS than they do from Android? of course not. If a browser is not allow in a particular platform, revenues lost is significant. Think before saying foolish statements, at the end is a business and is all about the Benjamin's.

posted on 10 Mar 2013, 20:38 5

6. Kreft (Posts: 84; Member since: 27 Dec 2012)


I wouldn't mind firefox for wp.

posted on 10 Mar 2013, 20:43 4

7. FireDragon (Posts: 107; Member since: 13 Nov 2009)


But how iOS users know if they are suffering unless they will use something else? Right now Apple is telling all its users they are the best and users are taking their words as shiny badges to proude on.

Yes of course some of them will be the users of other OSes too but consumers are the real target of market-talk.

posted on 10 Mar 2013, 21:05 4

8. tedkord (Posts: 4825; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


And even with hamstringing the competition, they came make a navigation app as good.

posted on 10 Mar 2013, 21:19 3

12. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 3567; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


Sounds like excuses to me.

posted on 10 Mar 2013, 22:25 4

14. vickygamit (Posts: 29; Member since: 16 Aug 2012)


apple stop it now

posted on 10 Mar 2013, 22:36 3

15. xperiaDROID (limited) (Posts: 5494; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


Poor iOS users :(

posted on 10 Mar 2013, 22:42 3

16. JunkCreek (Posts: 402; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)


now we know why Safary has highest score. Safary just like Internet Explorer on Windows, installed by default but on iOS, user forced to use Safary because Apple limited third party ability, while on Android, users can use third party browser they like, operamini, opera mobile, dolphin, firefox, chrome etc. the comparison is just ain't right, limited third party ability vs free choice of default or third party browser with ability limited by device hardware.

posted on 10 Mar 2013, 22:48 1

17. axllebeer (Posts: 265; Member since: 05 Apr 2011)


I keep going back to Firefox on my Evo and now using it on my Note 10.1. But thr stock browser for some reason seems more stable on both. I have used it for years on my laptops and still do, but for some reason the stock browser is still more stable for me. Anyone agree?

posted on 11 Mar 2013, 05:14

30. saiki4116 (Posts: 353; Member since: 31 Mar 2011)


I feel the same...

posted on 10 Mar 2013, 23:08 3

18. Quezdagreat (Posts: 427; Member since: 05 Apr 2012)


who cares safari works perfectly

posted on 11 Mar 2013, 03:29 2

28. DHILLON_ARSH (Posts: 66; Member since: 11 Mar 2013)


LOLL.....idreams....haha

posted on 11 Mar 2013, 08:05 1

32. jroc74 (Posts: 4836; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


If Apple hadicapps other browsers, it should.

posted on 11 Mar 2013, 09:00

36. axllebeer (Posts: 265; Member since: 05 Apr 2011)


Download management?

posted on 10 Mar 2013, 23:42 6

19. dorianb (Posts: 391; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)


What's Safari?

posted on 11 Mar 2013, 00:30 4

21. Sentient6 (Posts: 16; Member since: 02 Dec 2012)


And this is one of the numerous reasons I'm never going to buy Apple products.

posted on 11 Mar 2013, 03:28 2

27. DHILLON_ARSH (Posts: 66; Member since: 11 Mar 2013)


GOOD MOVE MOZILLA......FCCK APPLE

posted on 11 Mar 2013, 04:19

29. rudlie (Posts: 182; Member since: 13 Mar 2012)


I'm daily firefox user on pc/mac but for mobile I'm avoid it. I was often using firefox on android devices but I don't like the performance, even the html display result is the best among android's browsers. compared to safari on iOS, I feel safari has much2 better performance and I don't have a problem with it even I open many page tabs. I was found some problems when open many page tabs on firefox os. so, for desktop I choose firefox and safari for mobile

posted on 11 Mar 2013, 05:34 2

31. sonofzeus (Posts: 95; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)


Apple is not playing a fair game

posted on 11 Mar 2013, 08:56

35. mrblah (Posts: 452; Member since: 22 Jan 2013)


no ones nots going to buy apple because lack of a buggy browser lol

posted on 11 Mar 2013, 09:38 1

37. Jyakotu (Posts: 821; Member since: 12 Dec 2008)


I switched from Opera to Firefox on desktop awhile back and I decided to give Firefox for Android a try. It's okay, but I think Opera Mobile was better. However, since Opera is now switching to WebKit, it would be like using Chrome anyway, so honestly, I just stick with the Firefox ecosystem.

posted on 11 Mar 2013, 09:55 1

39. NokiaFTW (Posts: 2025; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)


This is just the start of many developers rejecting to create iOS apps due to Apple's restricting nature and eventually low sales of iOS products !

posted on 11 Mar 2013, 11:20

40. lubba (Posts: 1310; Member since: 17 Jan 2011)


Its easier to get money from MS than it is from Apple. MS has a past, Apple doesn't. Seeing how Europe is flat broke, lets look at MS and see how much we can get from them. While Google, they our friend. We let them go despite complaints from small companies. Sleezy and conniving companies work best together.

posted on 11 Mar 2013, 12:30

42. Rayvelynn (Posts: 123; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)


Apple just doesn't know how to play well with others, tsk tsk, tsk

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