Mozilla: Firefox not returning to iOS until Apple treats third-party browsers better

Mozilla has confirmed that it is not working on an iOS version of its popular Firefox web browser.

The announcement came from Jay Sullivan, the vice president of Mozilla, during his speech at the South By Southwest conference in Austin. Sullivan made it clear that Mozilla won't roll out Firefox for iOS until and unless Apple changes its allegedly unfair treatment of third-party web browsers.

Mozilla pulled the Mozilla Firefox Home app from the Apple App Store last September because Apple does not allow it to bring its advanced javascript and rendering engines to the iOS platform, and neither does Apple allow third-party browser developers access to its faster JavaScript rendering engine Nitro. While Apple uses Nitro to power its own Safari browser, its existing policies leave Mozilla and other third-party browser developers with only one option - to equip their products with the less advanced UIWebView component for rendering.

Even though the decision could be risky for Mozilla considering it is still struggling in the mobile browser market, the company is trying to make a stand against Apple, which it believes is not offering a competitive environment for third-party browsers.

Mozilla is not the only company to openly criticise Apple over this issue. Mike Taylor of Opera and David Dehgahn of the Dolphin Browser also slammed the iPhone manufacturer for allegedly trying to monopolise the iOS browser market.