Feeds

SkyFire flees iTunes store

Angry Bird-buster just too darn successful

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

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. ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.