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No Firefox for iPhone, despite Opera’s success

Fennec

By Barry Collins

Posted on 29 Apr 2010 at 08:09

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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User comments

As a devoted Firefox user, I'd like to see a version that's available for Jail broken/unlocked iPhone.

That way they wouldn't need to work within Apple's restrictions, they could just ignore them.

It's perfectly legal to produce apps for jail broken devices, though I suppose that Apple may block their other products out of spite if they do make an off app store version.

By Perfectblue97 on 29 Apr 2010

Opera Mini vs. Firefox

"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."

There is nothing baffling about it.

Opera Mini doesn't have a browser engine on the phone. The engine is on a server. So no "data execution" is performed on the phone.

Firefox and Opera Mobile, on the other hand, do all page handling on the phone.

This is why Opera Mini was accepted, but Firefox and Opera Mobile won't.

By prallers on 29 Apr 2010

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