Firefox fans, you won't be getting your favorite browser on your iPhones and iPads, according to Mozilla VP of Product Jay Sullivan. CNET reports that while speaking at a mobile browser panel on SXSW, Sullivan said that the company is not developing a version of Firefox for iOS at the moment and doesn't have any plans to do so.
At the heart of the problem is Apple's restrictive policy that requires web browsing apps to use the Webkit engine for layout rendering, which Safari is based on; Mozilla's Firefox uses Gecko instead. The company had offered an app called Firefox Home, which gave users access to their desktop Firefox bookmarks, open tabs and browsing history on their iOS devices, but Mozilla discontinued the app last fall.
Firefox has a long way to go in terms of conquering the mobile browsing market, with Apple's Safari capturing 55.41% of surfing on phones and tablets in February 2013, according to NetMarketShare. Firefox is not listed in the tracking company's statistics and is presumably included in the 5.5% marked "other."
Mozilla did announce that it plans to launch its own mobile operating system, nicknamed Firefox OS, which will debut later this year in South American markets before rolling out in Asia and Europe. Firefox will naturally be the default mobile browser in the company's OS, which will run on Android devices.