Mozilla is intentionally ignoring Apple’s mobile platform.
iOS users have a ton of alternate browser choices these days, but only if you don’t mind using a severely gimped and re-skinned version of Safari. Google for example has chosen to port over a version of its highly successful Chrome browser, however unlike the situation on the desktops, iOS Chrome is significantly slower than Safari. Apple currently forces competitors to make use of its much slower UIWebView rendering engine, while the built in version of Safari has access to the significantly faster Nitro engine. This policy ensures competitors are unable to match Safari in the speed department, and Mozilla claims this is the primary reason why they currently have no intention of developing for the platform.
Mozilla vice president Mike Sullivan was on hand at this years SXSW, and confirmed that his company wasn’t interested in simply skinning an in-superior version of Safari. Sullivan stated clearly that Mozilla would only revisit iOS if they were given the opportunity to natively port the IonMonkey engine currently being used on other desktop and mobile platforms. Mozilla faces similar challenges on Windows RT, and given how stubborn both Apple and Microsoft can be, we aren’t surprised the company is pursuing its own mobile OS.
Will Apple ever open up their platform to proper competition? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.