Mobile Web Browsing Not Great, Says Mozilla CEO

Image Credit: Mozilla

Chances are you spend most of your time in apps on your phone, while the web browser takes a backseat. Mozilla, the maker of the popular Firefox browser, acknowledges that the industry has fallen short in improving mobile web browsers.

"We haven't done a great job [on mobile browsing]. I'm expecting someone will do a Apple on the whole browsing experience," Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs said at the All Things D: Dive Into Mobile conference today in New York City.

Kovacs is referring to, of course, how Apple revolutionized or changed the entire phone business with the iPhone. He added that he anticipates that at some point the mobile browser will provide an "entirely different experience," rather than just a shrunken down version of the desktop browser.

What that experience might look like Kovacs didn't detail, but Mozilla is betting big on the browser being at the center of the mobile phone experience. The company announced its Firefox OS earlier this year; the operating system for phones is based on its Firefox browser. The phones that will run the Firefox OS software will launch in select countries this June. While they will launch in Venezuela, Poland, Brazil, Portugal and others this year, they will come to the U.S. in 2014.

The company has already partnered with Sprint.

Currently Mozilla offers a mobile version of its Firefox browser for Android. It's not available on the iPhone, Kovacs said, because "iOS has a policy where you have to use their web engine. Our web engine is very different." The company does not want to adjust that, he explained.

Kovacs announced today that he would be stepping down as the CEO of Mozilla this year. "I learned in college that you don't want to stay at a party too long," he said at the conference. "It's time for me to move on to other things."