Feeds

SkyFire flees iTunes store

Angry Bird-buster just too darn successful

The essential guide to IT transformation

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices
Screw copper phone lines, we're UNIQUE, bleats telco
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
UK mobile coverage is BETTER than EVER, networks tell Ofcom
Regulator swallows this line and parrots it back out at us. What are they playing at?
What's the nature of your emergency, Vodafone?
Oh, you've dialled the wrong number for ad fibs, rules ASA
EE network whacked by 'PDP authentication failure' blunder
Carrier is 'aware' of cockup, working on a fix NOW
ROAD TRIP! An FCC road trip – Leahy demands net neutrality debate across US
You crashed watchdog's site, now time to crash its ears
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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?