Yesterday Skyfire, the browser that bought Flash video to the iPhone, made an early appearance in the Apple iTunes App Store. I paid my $2.99 and downloaded the app which promised to take Flash video and transcodes it into HTML5-compatible H.264 format, but due to overwhelming demand, I never got it to work.
Now Skyfire is gone from the App Store, the developers saying that it's "sold out."
So, what happened? Here's what's posted on the official Skyfire blog:
Skyfire for iPhone has been received with unbelievable enthusiasm. Despite our best attempts and predictions, the demand far exceeds our initial projections.
The user experience was performing well for the first few hours, but as the surge continued, the peak load on our servers and bandwidth caused the video experience to degrade.
Thus we are effectively ‘sold out’ and will temporarily not accept new purchases from the App Store. We are working really hard to increase capacity and will be accepting new purchases from the App Store as soon as we can support it.
We are very grateful for the demand. 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. Wow!
Please bear with us as we bring our capacity in line with the incredible demand – stay tuned.
My experience of Skyfire can be summed up in one word - disappointing.
Despite downloading the app within minutes of it being released, I couldn't get any of the transcoding to work. It seems that either Skyfire had underestimated demand, or don't have the infrastructure in place to cope with the realities of transcoding Flash for iPhone users on the fly.
Right now, it's not Skyfire, more SkyFAIL.
Only time will tell if I wasted my $2.99.