Skyfire pulls ‘iPhone Flash’ app from Apple’s App Store

“Skyfire launched its app that plays Flash video on the iPhone one day early, but it didn’t expect to pull the app off Apple’s App Store so soon,” David Goldman reports for CNNMoney. “After just five hours on the market on Wednesday, Skyfire stopped selling the app, as its servers were overwhelmed. The company said it was frantically working to increase its server capacity and would be selling another batch of the applications ‘very soon.'”

“‘Skyfire has historically generated high demand for its browser products but nothing like this,’ said Skyfire CEO Jeffrey Glueck in a prepared statement. ‘It was hard to predict consumer demand since this was our first paid app, but we were blown away by the demand and sales.’ [With Skyfore], when users click on a page that contains Flash video, Skyfire’s servers download, render and translate the video into a video standard that Apple’s iOS devices support,” Goldman reports. “Skyfire then displays a thumbnail that users can click on to stream the video from its servers.”

“The app became the top grossing application in Apple’s App Store Wednesday and the third most-downloaded paid app,” Goldman reports. “The company also makes a similar browser for Android devices, which have been downloaded about 1.5 million times since it launched on the Android Marketplace in late April.”

Goldman reports, “The story of Skyfire’s overwhelmed servers is similar to that of Flipboard, a highly anticipated, glowingly reviewed, social media aggregating iPad application that crashed the company’s servers just hours into its debut on the App Store. Flipboard created a waiting list, and it took the company more than a month to get everyone access to the app.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Develop only for Android and your servers are safe. (smirk)

As we said on Tuesday regarding this app: “Enabling incompetent/ignorant/lazy/cheap purveyors of web video is no substitute for having them do it right in the first place. Get with the program: Stop using Flash. 120+ million users can’t see your videos and most aren’t about to pony up $2.99 to a third-party in order to work around your incompetence/ignorance/laziness/cheapness.”


  1. The MDN take is dumb, android users don’t overload their servers because they can use flash natively.

    We iPhone users overloaded the servers and paid $3 per app, so we could use the phone as it should ALSO do natively.

    How can you bill the iPad and iPhone as the ultimate internet device when it cannot support 70% of what the internet is built upon?

    I’m as big an Apple fanboy is anyone else, but no flash on the iPhone is retarded, glad I got Skyfire before it was pulled.

  2. If this is the way to do flash… Ok.
    I guess there is no reason to block the app just because it “Was” flash. But I just wonder how this will affect Apples strategy to work against flash. Don’t get mewrong here. I don’t like flash one bit. I’m just a little bit worries that because if this websites will stop their effort to get videos delivered via HTML5.
    I think it’s important that we have an open srmtandars for this and the easiest way is with native video in HTML5 code. It will work on all platforms just like that. No plugins that has to be maintained etc. Just plain video.

  3. @G4Dualie

    It is a gigantic amount, there is no denying that, my figure may not be directly accurate, but Flash is HUGE, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a great product, but it is an embedded part of the internet.

    Quote from Adobe website;

    Adobe® Flash® Player is the world’s most pervasive software platform, used by over 3 million professionals and reaching 99% of Internet-enabled desktops in mature markets as well as a wide range of devices

    Obviously canted to their view, but knock 30% off that figure and it is still huge.

  4. Two things to remember here:
    1. This app does not play FLASH on your iOS device. It extracts the video (it doesn’t work for FLASH games or such), recodes it in HTML5 and then plays it. So you are NOT putting FLASH on your iOS device.

    2. Of the falsely reported 70% of stuff in FLASH, ninety percent of it seems to be advertising. I am seriously happy not to have that in my face all the time.

  5. So, Android lacks the demand to either crush a server or overwhelm a service like Verizon. Verizon, next year you will get to see if your service can handle the iPhone factor! Can you hear me now!

  6. Erk:

    Until three weeks ago, EVERY desktop and portable computer (Mac or Windows) was sold with pre-installed Flash player/plugin. This has been the case for the last (at least) five years. Based on that, that remaining 1% that Adobe is referring to represents non-Mac and non-Windows (i.e. Linux) users who refused to download and install Flash player/plugin.

    Three weeks ago, at the introduction of new MBAs, Apple stopped pre-installing Flash plugin into Safari on all desktop/notebook computers. The percentage of new of computers that come with flash is now getting lower every day.

    This is not the point; every one can (presumably) play Flash. The point is, how many content providers out there REQUIRE Flash. And those numbers have been rapidly shrinking, first since the introduction of the iPhone, and especially since the launch of the iPad. With over 100 million web-connected (and very active) devices that CANNOT see Flash, every single content owner who sustains their existence by delivering web content, must re-work their content for Flash-less delivery, otherwise, they are turning money away.

    Recent stats obtained by one of those research companies (NPD, Gartner, whichever) indicates that among commercial content sites (and I’m not talking about old ladies’ crocheting societies web sites), more than half of them have already deployed their content in HTML5.

    The only thing that still keeps Flash numbers up is the multitude of children’s sites (Playhouse Disney, NickJr, PBSKids, plus tons of kids gaming sites, such as and many others). These sites, and especially the ones from large players, such as Disney, Nicleodeon, Sesame Workshop, use Flash as an operating system, and build extremely demanding applications on top of it. That software simply cannot be ported to HTML5. However, it likely COULD be ported to iOS, as native apps. Depending on the future trends with Flash, it is entirely possible that these big players just might do that.

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