Feeds

SkyFire flees iTunes store

Angry Bird-buster just too darn successful

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Pre-processing mobile browser SkyFire has been pulled from the iTunes app store after only five hours of offering access to streamed video content, because it's just too popular to cope.

SkyFire routes traffic through its own servers, modifying the content to suit the mobile device on which it's being run - on the iPhone that means converting Flash video streams into HTML-5-compliant streams using a codec suited to Apple's platform. But it seems converting all that content was too much for SkyFire, which has pulled the browser from the iTunes store while it tries to source some more server capacity.

The company is putting a brave face on the problem, claiming that the application (which is really a wrapper around the iPhone's existing browser, Safari) has sold out and thanks to "incredible demand". It certainly shifted a lot of copies despite costing $2.99 - outranking Angry Birds as top grossing application in the five hours it was live on the store.

Server-side pre-processing is all the rage these days, despite the fact that it turns a customer into an ongoing cost centre - SkyFire gets its 70 per cent of the $2.99 iTunes price, but has to run the servers indefinitely, and once they start recoding video in real time that's a lot of server to keep operational.

Opera's Turbo mode works the same way, with the intention of generating revenue by injecting targeted advertisements into web pages (just like Phorm, only without the controversy) to allow free distribution.

Bitstream's Bolt browser also uses server-side recoding, and is free, but Bitstream's revenue stream remains a mystery.

SkyFire is free on most platforms (labelled "beta"), but clearly made a lot of money selling to iPhone users. The risk is that it will have to keep selling more copies to pay for the maintenance of the existing ones, like a vast unsustainable pyramid scheme, or risk upsetting the paying users with some sort of embedded advertising like everyone else. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
ISPs' post-net-neutrality world is built on 'bribes' says Tim Berners-Lee
Father of the worldwide web is extremely peeved over pay-per-packet-type plans
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
Drag queens: Oh, don't be so bitchy, Facebook! Let us use our stage names
Handbags at dawn over free content ad network's ID policy
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.