Mozilla: No Firefox browser for iOS

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.

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

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45 Comments

1. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 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.

3. dmakun

Posts: 382; Member since: Jun 06, 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!

9. axllebeer

Posts: 271; Member since: Apr 05, 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.

10. Mxyzptlk unregistered

I disagree.

13. axllebeer

Posts: 271; Member since: Apr 05, 2011

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

22. Ohrules

Posts: 327; Member since: Jun 11, 2012

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

34. axllebeer

Posts: 271; Member since: Apr 05, 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.

41. Ohrules

Posts: 327; Member since: Jun 11, 2012

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

45. axllebeer

Posts: 271; Member since: Apr 05, 2011

Nope. But you can download 1 like ES file explorer from the Play Store and you are good to go. This was a long time ago now anyway and I'm back on Black(Berry) Posted from my Q10 via the power of "Q"

23. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 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 :)

25. Sangeet

Posts: 232; Member since: Apr 21, 2012

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

4. AnTuTu

Posts: 1612; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

Well done Mozilla :)

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.

11. Mxyzptlk unregistered

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

20. AnTuTu

Posts: 1612; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

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

24. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 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 :)

26. Sangeet

Posts: 232; Member since: Apr 21, 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

44. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 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.

43. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 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.

33. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

I agree with this. Handicapping other browsers should be against some law.

2. dirtydirty00

Posts: 428; Member since: Jan 21, 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.

38. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 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.

6. Kreft

Posts: 84; Member since: Dec 27, 2012

I wouldn't mind firefox for wp.

7. FireDragon

Posts: 117; Member since: Nov 13, 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.

8. tedkord

Posts: 17356; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

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

12. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Sounds like excuses to me.

14. vickygamit

Posts: 52; Member since: Aug 16, 2012

apple stop it now

15. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

Poor iOS users :(

16. JunkCreek

Posts: 407; Member since: Jul 13, 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.

17. axllebeer

Posts: 271; Member since: Apr 05, 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?

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