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Will Mobile Browsers Matter?

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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?

No, Silk is Amazon's web browser.

It's loosely based on WebKit.

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