Skyfire iPhone app: Gone from iTunes, but for how long?

Skyfire iPhone app has been pulled from the Apple iTunes store amid a surge of consumer demand. Skyfire reps said they were working to increase server capacity.

Skyfire, an app that lets users view Flash content on their Apple devices – such as the iPhone shown at left – is effectively sold out, Skyfire reps announced today.

Well, that was quick. Just a day after launch, Skyfire – a mobile Web browser which lets users perform an end-run around the Apple iOS ban on Flash – has been yanked off iTunes, amid an apparently overwhelming burst of consumer demand. In a post to the company blog, Robert Oberhofer, the director of product management at Skyfire, said the Skyfire app would be "sold out" until the company could get its "capacity in line with the incredible demand."

"Skyfire for iPhone has been received with unbelievable enthusiasm. Despite our best attempts and predictions, the demand far exceeds our initial projections," Oberhofer wrote. "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."

Oberhofer said that Skyfire was "working really hard to increase capacity," and said the company "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," he noted. He did not offer an estimate as to when the Skyfire app would be available again.

As we reported earlier this week, the Skyfire app translates Flash coding into HTML5, a format accepted by Apple's iOS. Apple and Adobe have quarreled very publicly in recent months – Apple CEO Steve Jobs said Flash is "the number one reason Macs crash" – but the companies do seem to be edging towards some sort of agreement. Until then, Skyfire has the market all to itself.

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