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Mozilla refuses to develop Firefox for Apple iPhone and iPad

by Mark Tyson on 11 March 2013, 17:05

Tags: Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Mozilla, PC

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qabtsf

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Apple’s attitude to third party developers is too closed to allow Mozilla to use its own rendering and JavaScript engines on iOS. Without this flexibility Mozilla won’t be developing a browser for the iPhone or iPad any time soon, according to Jay Sullivan, vice-president of product at Mozilla, speaking at the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference in Austin, Texas.

Mozilla, using its own page rendering technology, isn’t allowed to offer the Firefox web browser in the Apple App Store. All the alternative browsers on iOS use the WebKit rendering engine, like the default Safari.

In addition to the rendering restrictions, Apple’s closed policy on Safari being the default web browser makes the platform even less attractive for browser competitors. Even if an iOS user wants to, there is no way for them to change the default web browser (without a Jailbreak). This situation is quite different on the more open Google Android mobile platform where Mozilla Firefox is available and can work the way the developers intend it to.

As tablet and smartphone use grows and traditional computer usage dwindles Mozilla is looking to be just as successful in this new arena. According to NetMarketShare Firefox holds less than one per cent of the mobile browsing market, on the desktop it is much more popular at around 20 per cent.

Mozilla is also creating its own mobile platform; the Firefox mobile OS. This new mobile OS has garnered quite a bit of support from a number of hardware partners (recently Sony was added to the list) and telcos despite its immaturity. Google has already reacted to put a stick in the wheel of companies stopping it thrusting its advertising in your face, with the hobbling of AdBlock last month. Who knows if one day Google will decide to put a spanner in the works of rival web browsers in order to make lots more £$£s.



HEXUS Forums :: 21 Comments

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So if you're not allowed to change the default browser on Apple products why aren't they being fined the same way Microsoft was by the EU?
KrisWragg
So if you're not allowed to change the default browser on Apple products why aren't they being fined the same way Microsoft was by the EU?

Patented iDodge technology??
It's probably because Apple doesn't have a 90%+ monopoly unlike what Microsoft used to have.
Jimbo75
It's probably because Apple doesn't have a 90%+ monopoly unlike what Microsoft used to have.

Except last time the MS case popped up, the ruling they were fined under had nothing to do with monopoly legislation, but was rather to do with consumer freedom.

I haven't checked it out myself, but I've had it stated several times independently from reliable sources, so understand it to be the case.
The same as every other manufacturer has embraced MicroUSB and Apple continues to go it's own way on mobile phones I guess...