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Apple Reportedly to Blame for Absence of an iOS Firefox Browser

firefox_icon_200pxMost of us get along fine using either Google’s Chrome app or the built-in Safari for browsing the web, but there are still Firefox loyalists out there, and their mobile future isn’t getting any brighter. Mozilla Firefox’s only App Store presence (Mozilla Firefox Home) was pulled from Apple’s store last fall, and now we’re hearing that Jay Sullivan, Vice President of Products, just shut down the idea that a full-fledged Firefox browser might hit the iOS platform anytime soon.

According to Sullivan, the factors preventing Mozilla from committing to iPhone/iPad are basically Apple’s fault. At this year’s SXSW, Sullivan stated that Apple’s refusal to allow Mozilla (or other browsers) to use their own rendering and javascript engines will continue to be a deal breaker. Apparently, the web kit used to build Mobile Safari and made available to third parties won’t cut it, and this will keep browsers like Firefox out of the App Store for the foreseeable future.

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Sullivan’s viewpoint is one held by many people, and it’s essentially this: Apple should change their policy, because it will ultimately mean a better experience for users. But then, is there anything in it for Apple to do so? Mobile Safari already grabs up 55% of the mobile browsing market, while Firefox claims just 1%. Mozilla has Firefox OS on the way (mobile operating system), but it’s too early to say if that will be any kind of game changer (we suspect not).

The absence of an iOS version of Firefox might point to a bigger problem for Apple down the road, but for now it’s just bad news for Mozilla fans: Unless big changes occur, you’ll have to keep making do with other browsers.

 

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