In what has to be a first for the App Store, a massively popular app has “Sold Out”. SkyFire, the eagerly anticipated mobile browser app that allows users to watch Flash videos on their iPhone, was pulled from iTunes just 5 hours into its initial launch.
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.
It really is a shame that it took 2 months to finally get approved by Apple, only to be yanked within hours of its debut. Well I suppose it’s better this than having legions of new users swamp SkyFire’s inadequate servers and experience choppy flash videos. Hopefully, the hardware issue will sorted out real soon and that we’ll be seeing this bad boy back on the App Store in no time.
Update: It appears that SkyFire is now back in the App Store, though the app will be released in batches, with the US store getting it first. According to their blog:
We are going to open batches of downloads for new users over the coming days. The first batch will be in a few minutes on the Apple App Store. It will be first come, first serve.
Due to overwhelming demand, we are taking this approach because Skyfire believes a good user experience should come first, and we would rather have fewer, happier customers, and add new users as we can support them. We will open the first batches to US users only, with additional country support to follow shortly.
Please note that there may be some initial congestion as a flood of new users simultaneously try to use the service, but try again an hour later and things should smooth out.
If you’re willing to put up with some initial pains (ie. lag, page won’t load), you can grab SkyFire with the iTunes link below:
Skyfire Labs, Skyfire Web Browser, 2.5MB – $2.99