Mozilla confirms Firefox browser will not return for iPhone or iPad

March 11, 2013

Mozilla's VP of product Jay Sullivan confirmed at the South by Southwest conference in Austin that the developer does not intend to make its browser available for iPad or iPhone anytime soon, something he put down to Apple’s tough restrictions when it comes to third-party browsers.

CNET reports that Sullivan, who was speaking on a mobile browsers panel (along with executives from Opera and Dolphin Browser), said that the non-profit Mozilla is not currently building a version of Firefox for iOS, and has no plans to do so in the future either.

The developer pulled its Mozilla Firefox Home iOS app from the App Store in September last year after struggling to bring across its sophisticated rendering and JavaScript engine to Apple’s iOS platform. Sullivan told SXSX attendees that this meant the organization could not build the browser it wanted for Apple products.

Apple and Microsoft have both been criticized for failing to provide browser choice over the years, with the latter fined $733 million just last week by the European Union Commission for failing to give users a choice of browsers to install.

And while Mozilla has made noises before about making a new browser for Apple's iPad, it is by no means reliant on Apple when it comes to mobile operation systems.

Firefox is already available on Android and Windows 8 devices, while Mozilla has even developed its own mobile operating system for emerging markets. Furthermore, the group has tackled nascent demand for HTML5 apps with the Mozilla App Marketplace.

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