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Skyfire app "sells out," kills servers, now unavailable

updated 10:50 pm EDT, Wed November 3, 2010

Developers -- not Apple -- pull app from store

Skyfire, a $3 alternative browsing app for the iPhone that was approved by Apple and available for sale for a few hours today -- rapidly climbing to the top of the paid chart in its category -has been "temporarily" withdrawn -- not by Apple but by Skyfire itself. The big selling point for Skyfire on the iPhone was that it used an intermediary server to decode Flash programming on-the-fly to HTML5, allowing iPhone surfers to watch Flash content. The demand on its servers, according to Skyfire blogger Robert Oberhofer, "caused the video experience to degrade" and so the company has taken the application offline, referring to it as being "sold out" while they work "really hard" on increasing capacity.

Apple has now scrubbed all mention of the app from its store, as is standard procedure for apps that have been made unavailable. The term "Skyfire web browser" still shows up on searches, but no longer appears in any listings, and selecting the search result yields nothing. For a period of time, searchers simply got a message that the app was "unavailable in the US store," but even that has disappeared. Skyfire's blog and web page reflect the idea that the product will be available again in the near future, though no timetable has yet been announced.

Early reports and reviews found the experience of watching Flash on an iPhone variable at best, and some critics have pointed out that Flash's reputation as a resource hog may have compounded the company's problems as they struggled to add the flood of users who started working with the iPhone version yesterday and today. The Android version continues to be available in the Android Marketplace.

by MacNN Staff



  1. MyRightEye

    Joined: Dec 1969



    You have a popular product. I hope you can increase capacity soon. Maybe Jobs will learn something from this too.

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Yeah, it appears there is some demand for

    Flash on iPhones. I'd try it to see how well it works. Adobe claims Flash isn't a resource hog, so that not what would have brought down the servers. Hehe.

  1. facebook_Michael

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Nov 2010


    A kludge...

    How's that Flash experience when their servers are down?

    I predict this app will be just a 'flash' in the pan.

  1. lamewing

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Simple solution

    The iSimple solution is for Jobs to just allow flash to be installed on the iOS devices with the ability to switch them off and on at the users' choice. How hard it that? About as hard a producing an iPad that accepts true stylus input and can handle handwriting recognition as well as Windows 7. :/ MANY of us students could use true stylus input and handwriting recognition...not a kludge like we have now.

  1. jnicholas

    Joined: Dec 1969


    More misinformation

    This app just reencodes flash formatted video to an iphone friendly format. Video reencoding is an inherintly computing intensive task. It doesn't matter whether flash player on macs is resource intensive or not because that has nothing to do with what Skyfire is doing.

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