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Skyfire browser brings Flash video to iPhone

Skyfire has launched its browser for the iPhone, enabling browser-based Flash video for users of Apple's handset for the first time.The browser was set live in the App Store on Wednesday at the price of $2.
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Written by David Meyer on

Skyfire has launched its browser for the iPhone, enabling browser-based Flash video for users of Apple's handset for the first time.

The browser was set live in the App Store on Wednesday at the price of $2.99 (£1.84). According to a statement from the company, the app "sold out of inventory" within five hours. Explaining this further — apps cannot 'sell out' — Skyfire explained that an unanticipated level of demand had put too much strain on its servers.

"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."

As the Skyfire browser does a lot of rendering on the server side, which is how it manages to display Flash video on Apple's notoriously Flash-phobic smartphone platform, this meant the company had to stop selling the app until it had provisioned the necessary amount of capacity. The firm has not provided actual numbers for the amount of downloads it experienced in those five hours.

Skyfire uses the same WebKit technology as Safari, the native browser of the iPhone and iPod Touch. According to the company, it "translates" Flash videos and streams them to devices using the H.264 codec. This only works for Flash video at the moment, not Flash games and animations.

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