Are Apple and Google Really Responsible for the Decline of Firefox?

Mozilla recently put out an explosive report that highlighted the role that major tech companies like Apple and Google played in the decline in demand for its flagship browser Firefox. They discussed how companies used exclusionary practices and anti competitive tactics to artificially boost their own browsers, but in spite of the fact that this is the case many are criticizing the notion that Firefox declined due to malicious intent from larger market players.

Much of the emphasis that Mozilla placed in this report was on built in browsers because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up making users less likely to download other browsers. With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that this idea does not really hold water when held to scrutiny.

Chrome is the most popular browser by far, followed by Microsoft Edge, but Firefox still comes in third place. If you were to look at browsers downloaded from the app store, Google still manages to receive a lot of support with all things having been considered and taken into account. Microsoft Edge was downloaded about 6.5 million times, but that is not all that much higher than the 4.8 million downloads that Firefox received.

This pokes some holes in Mozilla’s assertion and makes the role of Google and Apple seem less pronounced than might have been the case otherwise. Google does not hold any sway on the Apple App Store, but they still managed to get a whopping 63 million downloads for their web browser app.

The data does not seem to be supporting Mozilla’s claims. Their web browser received millions of downloads from third parties, and that suggests that the decline of their product is the fault of no one apart from the company itself. Apple and Google definitely used their sway to snap up consumers who might have been interested in Firefox, but that doesn’t change the fact that users are always looking for custom browsers and they might not see much value in Firefox anymore.

H/T: App Figures

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