I can feed trolls with the best of 'em. Burn, karma, burn!
The fact that the rendering engine would be Gecko on their PC and WebKit on their iPhone just doesn't fucking matter.
It really shows that Mozilla's focus is on themselves and software developers, not on the consumer end user, who has been running Firefox on their PC for years now and Safari on their iPhone for years now and just wants a Firefox interface and bookmark syncing on their iPhone.
No, it shows that Mozilla is smart enough to recognize and avoid pitched battles with Apple. Why fight to have a weird mutant version of their flagship project on a closed device, damaging their brand with artificially limited performance and a rendering engine that doesn't act like Firefox?
If that is Mozilla's focus, then they don't belong on iOS and good riddance.
Mozilla's focus is on opening up the web. You're right - they don't "belong" on closed, controlled iOS. They will, however, try to encourage Apple to let them in.
On iOS, the end user is at the top of the hierarchy, and software developers and content producers all work for the user. The user already has an HTML5 renderer in their iPhone, they already have a TCP/IP stack. You do not need to replace them to build a browser, and in fact, it is much better security that you can't replace them. That is what is best for the consumer: a secure renderer that is highly-optimized specifically for their device.
Who decides what's in your interest? If it's Apple, then Apple is at the top of the hierarchy, not users as you say.
As a user myself, I value the ability to use Firefox over Chrome on my Android device. With Android, I can decide what's in my interests. The defaults work for "most consumers", and for everyone else there is a measure of freedom.
There are plenty of reasons that software monocultures are bad, and Google is your friend there.
There are hundreds of 3rd party browsers on iOS, many with very innovative features. Like Skyfire, which converts Flash Video to ISO standard video on a server and essentially enables you to run Flash on iPhone or iPad. There are browsers that are exploring lots of gestures, or deep social integration.
Cute little user-interface experiments are one thing, but that's all niche-market small time stuff. Deep social integration and gestures? Tee hee. Calling a UIWebview wrapper a browser is kind of endearing.
Mozilla is missing out on all of that because they are pouty, entitled developers who want their feet rubbed and cheeks kissed before they deign to bless us with their bloated, mangled code.
You realize that Firefox is the best browser on the memory usage front, and near tops in performance right? If your gut feeling about Mozilla is based on a 2006-era opinion, you might want to look at what they've done lately.
And of course, Mozilla knows better than Apple what Apple users want. As if.
Most users want options and the ability to use their devices as they see fit. Mozilla has only ever supported users' rights. Apple can't say that.
And finally, Mozilla's hypocrisy: note that the one and only HTML renderer on Firefox OS is Gecko. And Firefox OS has zero 3rd party browsers as of right now.
Hey now, third party browsers can just wrap Gecko (actually, it's more like just opening an IFRAME, since the UI is all HTML.) In your world, using the system renderer is a good thing, right? What are you complaining about? /s
In all seriousness though, it could be done with some work. If people want to change the default browser "app" by shipping a new rendering engine, they'll probably have to do it by convincing a carrier to make the changes to the core OS. It doesn't really make sense though on a platform that is written in JS and HTML. It's not hypocrisy to have a different architecture. Apples to oranges.