Skip to main content

Mozilla: No Firefox Browser for iPhone... Really

Tuesday Mozilla confirmed that Firefox will not arrive on Apple's iPhone. Instead, users must fall back on Firefox Home, a free cloud-based application (browser companion) for accessing Firefox desktop history, bookmarks and tabs. Mozilla added that iPhone owners won't even receive anything resembling a full-blown browser within the Firefox Home app.

Why? Mozilla blames certain restrictions that prevented the team from bringing the full browser to Apple's device.

"People have asked about adding more browser-like features to Firefox Home, but there are technical and logistical restrictions that make it difficult, if not impossible, to build the full Firefox browser for the iPhone," Mozilla said in a blog. "We are focused on building Firefox Home as a rich, cloud-based application and making it a valuable product that people will continue to love and use."

Mozilla also said that it's working to bring Firefox Home to Blackberry and Symbian, indicating that the company may be shifting away from mobile browser development altogether. There's also an indication that Mozilla may bring Firefox Home to Apple's iPad, however the team said that the option will require further investigation.

Firefox for Mobile--aka Fennec--is currently available for the Nokia Maemo, Nokia N900, and the Nokia N810 and N800 internet tablets. An alpha version is available for Android handsets, however the version for Windows Mobile was put on hold after the announcement of Windows Phone 7.

Last year Mozilla ruled out development for the iPhone, blaming Apple policies. "The issue is more with Apple than with us because they control the App Store and because they refuse applications which compete with something that is already on the phone," said Mozilla's European president, Tristan Nitot. "It’s unlikely that we’ll see a version of Firefox running on the iPhone."

Those who are interested in tabbed-browsing for iPhone/iPod and iPad can download Atomic Browser from the App Store.

  • dan117
    Firefox being free and open should also be on a open and free platform.
    I just hope they implement a version of Flash...
    I don't have flash on my HTC Magic (ARMv6 CPU) even though I have Froyo because adobe thinks it would run slow, but I just want flash VIDEO, no fancy games and animations, and even if they're slow, I still want it as an option just in case I need to access a flash only site...
    Reply
  • That's OK I don't have a iPhone anyways. Can't wait for it on the blackberry.
    Reply
  • That's OK I don't have an iPhone. Can't wait for it on the blackberry.
    Reply
  • dan117
    ForeverchangingThat's OK I don't have an iPhone. Can't wait for it on the blackberry.williamtellThat's OK I don't have a iPhone anyways. Can't wait for it on the blackberry.
    WTF?

    Reply
  • twu
    I had a iphone 3G and now using the iphone 4. No flash & firefox..etc..suks.
    Jumping ship to WP7.
    Reply
  • thebigt42
    twuI had a iphone 3G and now using the iphone 4. No flash & firefox..etc..suks. Jumping ship to WP7.Jailbreak it and install flash...It works great!
    Reply
  • So let me get this straight...

    Mozilla: "You don't do things our way so forget about us developing something our customers want"

    Apple: "We don't allow any code to just run on our phones and stand our ground unless our customers demand it"

    Sound to me like Mozilla is the wrong one here. I say it comes down to money and laziness on both company's part.
    Reply
  • hellwig
    Apple's policies didn't seem to stop Opera. Maybe that's because Opera Mini uses Opera's servers to gather and render the webpages, thus, technically making it different from Safari which downloads the data straight to the phone? I don't really know. All I remember about the Android Fennec alpha was that it was something like 70MB and barely ran at all, so even if I had an iPhone, I doubt I'd be too bummed.
    Reply
  • techguy378
    PaulAndersonSo let me get this straight...Mozilla: "You don't do things our way so forget about us developing something our customers want"Apple: "We don't allow any code to just run on our phones and stand our ground unless our customers demand it"Sound to me like Mozilla is the wrong one here. I say it comes down to money and laziness on both company's part.Maybe you should and all other Apple fans should do their research before posting such nonsense. You and Apple seem to think the iPhone is a small appliance. It's not. The iPhone is a PC just like a Dell Dimension or a Compaq Presario, for example. The iPhone is just a smaller size. It shouldn't matter what kind of PC you have, you should be able to run whatever you want on it without fear of voiding the warranty. Imagine if Gateway told you your warranty was void because you decided to run OpenOffice for Windows instead of using the preinstalled Microsoft Office. Likewise, people should be able to use whatever iOS apps they want on their iPhone PC.
    Reply
  • @PaulAnderson

    actually it more like, let's not invest resources in developing an app that chances are will never see the light of day because apple don't like real competition in their app store, bear in mind mozilla do not have a large amount of resources and money to throw around for something that may never get approved

    now if mozilla was developing a fart app... that's another kettle of fish
    Reply