No Firefox for iPhone, despite Opera’s success

Fennec

Mozilla rules out Firefox for iPhone, claiming "full" web browsers aren't allowed on the App Store

Mozilla has once again ruled out developing Firefox for the iPhone, despite Apple’s decision to allow rival Opera on to the App Store.

Apple originally banned applications that replicated features already found on the phone, although surprised many by approving the Opera Mini browser earlier this month. The Opera browser immediately shot to the top of the free download charts, with the Norweigan browser maker claiming to have racked up a million downloads on its first day.

A full web browser like Firefox that incorporates its own web rendering and JavaScript engines would be prohibited

However, Mozilla says nothing’s changed as far as it’s concerned. "Our understanding of browsers in the iPhone App Store is that a 'full' web browser like Firefox that incorporates its own web rendering and JavaScript engines would be prohibited," Mozilla said in a statement sent to PC Pro. “We have no insight into any arrangement between Apple and Opera."

Mozilla’s stance is slightly baffling given that Opera Mini has its own rendering engine and limited JavaScript support, although Mozilla has long insisted it can’t work under Apple’s conditions.

Last year, Mozilla claimed it was “too hard” to develop for the iPhone, claiming Apple placed too many restrictions on the user interface. Instead, Mozilla looks set to continue focusing its development effort on rival platforms.

Mozilla yesterday announced a “pre-Alpha” version of its mobile browser, codenamed Fennec, for Android handsets. Fennec is also available on Maemo Linux, although Mozilla has stalled development of its Windows Mobile software until Microsoft’s plans for Windows Phone 7 become clearer.

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