Mozilla says Apple is too closed for iOS Firefox

Posted by Trent Nouveau

It's an old argument, but one that certainly rings true for Mozilla. Meaning, Firefox won't be returning to Apple's iPad or iPhone anytime soon.

According to Mozilla chief Jay Sullivan, the company has no plans to code an iOS browser, despite the wild popularity of Apple's mobile devices.

As you may recall, Firefox was once available for Apple devices back in the days of yore, although Mozilla ultimately pulled the app from Cupertino's storefront.

As CNET's Rich Trenholm notes, Mozilla refuses to code Firefox without its sophisticated rendering and Javascript engines, with Apple forcing browsers to use its own WebKit engine.

As previously discussed on TG Daily, Firefox is based around the Gecko rendering engine, while Safari and other browsers such as Chrome are built with WebKit.

"Apple's Safari browser is the default app for web surfing, and even if you install a rival app like Chrome, you can't change that default setting," said Trenholm.

"That means links in other apps automatically open in Safari. As a result, Safari has more than half of the mobile browser market."

Of course, one could adopt a cynical approach and speculate that Mozilla's decision to pull its browser off the App Store was a strategic move - as the organization prepares to launch its own mobile Firefox OS based on HTML 5.