Coming Soon: A Mozilla App for the iPhone

Earlier today when I interviewed Mozilla CEO John Lilly onstage at the Play conference, an annual confab organized by the students of the Haas School of Business at the University of Berkeley, he hinted that the company was going to launch a brand new application for the iPhone, though he declined to reveal any details. “Mozilla will release an app to the iPhone App Store in the next few weeks,” Lilly said. “It’ll surprise people.”

Later, I sat around gabbing with Lilly and Jay Sullivan, Mozilla’s VP of Mobile, talking about Weave and the Awesome Bar, which is a way to get access to all your browsing history and bookmarks by just typing them in the URL bar on your browser. And while we were talking about Weave, I asked them if it was going to be part of this new, mysterious iPhone app. Lilly and Sullivan smiled and remained silent. Interestingly, they didn’t correct me.

About two years ago, Mozilla Labs announced a project called Weave, which was essentially a way for Firefox users to upload their personal browser preferences — from bookmarks to history to customizations — to Mozilla’s servers and then be able to access them from Firefox on any computer or device. Weave was going to become a key component of Mozilla Services.

Now, I am kinda intrigued about this new application and most importantly wondering if Apple is going to approve it. The iPhone maker has been pretty hostile toward anyone making apps that compete with what Apple thinks is the core functionality of its phone. And 330 million people know that Mozilla makes browsers and mail clients. Interestingly, Mozilla Weave is pretty competitive with Apple’s dot.mac service.

If you’ve got any tips for me, send them to om + tips at gigaom