Will Mobile Browsers Matter?
Semil Shah stashed this in Technology
I'm assuming it's all Safari and Chrome on Android from here on out, especially in 12-18 months. The tipping point is coming. Can any third-party browser compete on mobile phones or tablets?
There will always be a niche for specialty browsers. Skyfire built itself on great Flash, and now is finding a market in mobile toolbars customized by telcos such as AT&T.
If Microsoft Windows 8 can get some market share, IE will live on.
I'd like to believe there's a future for mobile Firefox.
But you're right -- who will fight or them? Not Amazon, which has its silk browser.
My best guess is Facebook, which has a former Firefox SVP as its Head of Engineering.
But someone needs device/OS marketshare to wedge in. On iOS, it's Safari. I think Mozilla is betting the farm on Boot-to-Gecko for Windows OS, maybe?
That wouldn't be a god bet since Microsoft should be able to own it.
I'm guessing a Facebook device or even a Yahoo device could benefit from using Mozilla.
But that's a big if. You're right, they have a challenge ahead of them.
I used to think that FB will build a phone, but it seems like they'd have to wait to get marketshare from iOS/Android right now. Given that, I don't see any other browsers mattering as much for a while.
Amazon will build a phone soon. So that makes Silk potentially relevant.
I half-expect a new player to enter the market with a "Smart Phone for Older People" or a "Smart Phone for Kids". In either case, Firefox might be the right browser for that.
Great points. Isn't Silk just their own custom skin on top of Android, though?