Mozilla is starting to take mobile seriously. It is set to release the first version of Firefox Mobile (codenamed Fennec) on Nokia's N900 handset shortly, with versions for Windows Mobile and Android due to hit handsets next year.
Speaking to PC Pro, Jay Sullivan, vice president of mobile at Mozilla had the following to say:
The problem according to Sullivan is that multiple platforms forces developers to have to recode the app for different platforms:
"You have to create an iPhone app, an Android app, a Windows Mobile app ... As developers get more frustrated with quality assurance, the amount of handsets they have to buy, whether their security updates will get past the iPhone approval process ... I think they'll move to the web."
Sullivan is confident that web-based solutions will triumph over app stores:
"In the interim period, apps will be very successful. Over time, the web will win because it always does."
While I think that there's certainly a lot of scope for web-based apps, I can't see them replacing app stores. Some applications (such as games) just don't translate to web apps. So while a decent cross-platform browser might ignite interest in web based apps, but it's unlikely to make much of a dent in app store traffic.
I don't think Apple executives are going to be losing any sleep over this.