Mozilla: Don’t hold your breath for Firefox mobile browser for iPhone

Apple Online Store“The first mobile phone version of the popular web browser Firefox is ‘days away’ from launch, the head of the project has told the BBC,” Jonathan Fildes reports for BBC News.

“The browser, codenamed Fennec, will initially be available for Nokia’s N900 phone, followed by other handsets,” Fildes reports. “It is currently going through final testing and could be released before the end of the year, said Jay Sullivan at Mozilla, the group behind Firefox.”

“The organisation is also developing versions for Microsoft’s Windows mobile and Google’s Android operating system,” Fildes reports. “However, he said that it would be some time before iPhone users would be able to use the browser. ‘Apple is very restrictive. It doesn’t allow other browsers,’ he said. ‘As it’s a pretty closed platform we don’t see that happening soon.'”

MacDailyNews Take: Huh? What was that? Sorry, we were distracted by downloading the iCab Mobile Web Browser for iPhone and iPod touch (US$1.99) from Apple’s iTunes App Store. There are so many other Web browsers for iPhone and iPod touch, both paid and free, that we want to try, too, if we could only find the time! Okay, back to The Beeb’s article…

Fildes continues, “Fennec has been in development for the last year and a half. The new software has many of the features of the desktop version, such as tabbed browsing, and an address bar that doubles as a search box. However, the mobile version will also scale pages to fit the device and will support functions such as tapping the screen to zoom in on a page.”

Full article here.


  1. Who cares?

    It’s no news.

    I’m sorry for Mozilla, because if they don’t have browsers out there, they can’t keep collecting their “welfare check” from Google for searches made from the browser, and that’s almost their sole source of income.

    But there’s already a browser on there more advanced than anything they do.

    In any case, they’d presumably have to rewrite the app in pure Cocoa or it wouldn’t run on the device. All that work just for one phone, and no one would care anyway. It’s not as if people are holding off on buying iPhones, because they can’t replace the existing browser with a second-rate one.

  2. @F1Mikal in NYC

    “Safari sucks eggs on the Mac compared to Firefox.”

    God, aren’t fanboys boring?

    Ugly, fairly slow, not fully native, can’t use Services, doesn’t use the keychain, inferior as regards rendering, lacks support for ICC Version 4 color profiles (even if you enable color-profile support in its hidden preferences).

    It’s fine. It’s just nothing special.

  3. “Don’t hold your breath for Firefox mobile browser for iPhone”
    Oh boy, I wanted so much to have a browser that takes forever to start up and download updates and toolbars with out asking.

  4. the Firefox guy’s statement “It doesn’t allow other browsers” is simply wrong – a lie. he knows better. if he had said ‘Apple’s iPhone app rules make it very difficult if not impossible to port non-web kit browsers to the iPhone’ then he would be credible. but he is scared of web kit – not by Apple of course, but by Google.

  5. Safari is nice in many ways, but in good old-fashioned Apple tradition, extensions or addons are more or less non-existent; and that’s why I clearly prefer Firefox. If Apple would have something close to the mozilla add-ons place/portal, I would switch back in an instant. Oh and while they’re at it, they should re-think the concept of bookmarks! I mean, it’s like 2010 and Apple still doesn’t understand the concept of tags. Delicious, anyone?

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