Just a day after launch, Skyfire – a mobile Web browser which lets users perform an end-run around the Apple iOS ban on Flash – has been yanked off iTunes, amid an apparently overwhelming burst of consumer demand. In a post to the company blog, Robert Oberhofer, the director of product management at Skyfire, said the Skyfire app would be “sold out” until the company could get its “capacity in line with the incredible demand.”
Skyfire, made by Skyfire Labs, made a brief appearance on the App Store Wednesday selling for $2.99. Skyfire for iPhone promises to transcode Web-based Flash video on the fly to an iPhone-friendly format. “Within 5 hours, Skyfire for iPhone became the top grossing app, the third highest paid app overall and the top application in the Utilities category,” Skyfire Labs said in a blog post Wednesday. In other words, iPhone users were so desperate to watch Web-based Flash video on their devices they were willing to pay for the privilege in large numbers.
“Skyfire has historically generated high demand for its browser products but nothing like this,” Skyfire chief executive Jeffrey Glueck said in a 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.”
During its short stint of availability, Skyfire became the third most-downloaded paid app. Good luck getting the server demand worked out. You can watch a video of the app after the break. “The outage has nothing to do with Apple, the app is still approved,” a Skyfire spokesman said in an e-mail. The popularity of the app, however, quickly overwhelmed Skyfire, and the company decided to temporarily stop “accepting new purchases.”. “The company is working to increase capacity and will be accepting new purchases from the Apple App Store soon,” Skyfire said, though it did not elaborate.
The app is designed as a full-fledged Web browser and includes an address bar, Google search box, and popular trending search terms. Navigate to a Web site that includes Flash video and, in theory, the Skyfire app will display that video in the small screen on the bottom menu, or “SkyBar.” Tap the video and Skyfire will convert Flash to HTML5 and play it on your screen.
Apple’s CEO may not want to put Adobe Flash video on the iPhone, but Apple fans made it abundantly clear Wednesday they want access to Flash on their iOS devices.