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It looks like Mozilla is planning on bringing its Firefox web browser to iOS. If current mobile and browser stats are anything to go by, this would be a smart move if the fiery fox is to dig itself out of a hole in terms of gaining market share.
Firefox release manager Lukas Blakk said that “We need to be where our users are so we’re going to get Firefox on iOS.” According to TechCrunch, Blakk was quoting Mozilla’s VP for Firefox Jonathan Nightingale.
Mozilla Firefox is currently available on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. iPhone and iPad users are currently limited to Safari, Chrome and independent browsers like Dolphin Browser and so on.
Today, Android is the leading mobile operating system in terms of market share and has seen Firefox being downloaded almost 1.5 million times. iOS, which is the market share runner-up, would thus be a good fit for Mozilla’s browser if it wants to stay with the cool kids.
Third-party browsers have a tough time getting onto iOS as they are restricted to Apple’s rendering engines. Mozilla has obviously been opposed to this restriction for a while now.
In 2012, Mozilla pulled its experimental homepage feature Firefox Home from iOS after proving unsuccessful.
In terms of mobile and tablet usage, NetMarketShare notes that Safari holds the fort by running nearly half of the world’s web browsing on the go at 45%. Chrome follows with 21% while Firefox lags far behind at 0.6%.
With mobile web activity on a massive increase, it would be wise of Mozilla to position its browser with more zest on the smartphone and tablet front.
We have, however, seen the Red Fox tap into mobile rich emerging markets including Africa after announcing the launch of Firefox OS smartphones in November 2014.
It would be really interesting seeing how Mozilla plays this one, as the non-profit is very committed to its vision of a free and fair democracy. A few weeks ago after announcing the marriage with Yahoo Search, Mozilla CEO Chris Beard said: “Our new search strategy doubles down on our commitment to make Firefox a browser for everyone, with more choice and opportunity for innovation.”