SkyFire makes $1m after one week on App Store

 

After just one week on Apple’s App store, SkyFire, the smartphone browser, has been able to turn over $1million.  

Gaining popularity for its flash support, the company announced they had well over 300,000 downloads, with each download costing $2.99. Unfortunately for SkyFire, Apple will be taking a nice 30% chunk out of their revenue, meaning SkyFire won’t get their pretty number of $1,000,000. Often criticized for an inability to make money from the idea, SkyFire seems to have gone against the critics with such a good week.

Surprisingly, it wasn’t long after SkyFire was put on the store until it was taken down because of complications. Not because Apple revoked approval, but because so many people were trying to access the server which led to the server crashing. After the incident, it was back up, but since video quality of all flash videos went out of the window it may have hurt SkyFire’s reputation for many people.

Now Apple has witnessed what the people want. Will they follow through with their mobile Safari for iPhone or will they continue to not support flash? Is Apple’s hatred for flash blocking their vision for what their users really want or will they suddenly change their mind? We’ll soon see how Apple responds to this, if they decide to. Will you see flash on your iPhone soon? Don’t bet on it.

You can learn more about SkyFire on Android and iPhone here.

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48 Comments

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I like the way skyfire works, tbh. Brings me flash video content w/o sucking battery life! Wish it was a little higher quality and wish it worked 100% of the time...

Mango said,
i just visited the iphone app store and couldnt find it.... is this some US only app or something?

It's available in multiple countries, but they keep removing it & adding it to the various stores based on their server farm's ability to transcode the content for additional users.

thatguyandrew1992 said,
After taxes, Apple's cut, and operating costs, about how much will these guys have?

Exactly, will the $700,000 even cover the server costs?

Shiranui said,

Exactly, will the $700,000 even cover the server costs?

What server costs? That's part of the reason why Apple takes 30%. Developers don't have to worry about the costs of distribution.

asdavis10 said,

What server costs? That's part of the reason why Apple takes 30%. Developers don't have to worry about the costs of distribution.

That's for distribution of the app, not the app content - Skyfire transcodes the Flash content on their servers. RTFA.

Don't like it, I got it... Went on YouTube and for nearly any video worth watching I get "This uploader has provented views on mobile device" or whatever. When I set it to Desktop mode So uninstalled and wasted money

TechDudeGeorge said,
Don't like it, I got it... Went on YouTube and for nearly any video worth watching I get "This uploader has provented views on mobile device" or whatever. When I set it to Desktop mode So uninstalled and wasted money

Cant get a refund?

Don't like it, I got it... Went on YouTube and for nearly any video worth watching I get "This uploader has provented views on mobile device" or whatever. When I set it to Desktop mode So uninstalled and wasted money

I'm doing fine with it. Flash "videos" was never what I felt was important, HTML5 works great here. Now if Skyfire could navigate flash based websites (not just video) that would be something else. But probably 95% of the site I use are no longer flashed based so its not needed.

As people have said this is only as good as the servers Skyfire operates and maintains. If they let those fail then it huts everyone use the app as it showed at launch.

Does this app convert Flash games and menu items?? No? So the only reason these videos don't play is because developers are too lazy to convert? Oh... I see.

Thanks everyone.

An alternative headline for this news post could be 'Apple makes $300,000 for not including Flash on iPhone'. It's not a normal business model for a company to make money out of leaving a feature out of their product

Problem I see with this App is it needs servers to run, as the content gets rendered on a server somewhere. All well and good earning $1m for selling it. But what about the long term running of it? What about the server power required to run the conversions everyday? How do they keep generating money to keep he servers running?

This just shows that content providers need to get with it. If we have to have a battery sucking, performance ****ing add-on like Flash to view your content, you've failed. Adopt HTML5 video.

Elliott said,
This just shows that content providers need to get with it. If we have to have a battery sucking, performance ****ing add-on like Flash to view your content, you've failed. Adopt HTML5 video.

You are aware that HTML5 actually has been tested to offer very little in terms of battery saving, right?

Elliott said,
This just shows that content providers need to get with it. If we have to have a battery sucking, performance ****ing add-on like Flash to view your content, you've failed. Adopt HTML5 video.

For the love of God Elliott. Stop making fanatic comments. And where the hell did you get that HTML is quote, "The part that matters here (HTML5 video) is stable and finished."? Hey man. I can get you want to get into Jobs's pants, some people just like going that way, it's cool. But that's no reason to indirectly tell the world through your comments.

Woah. That's a pretty big number. I hope that number can be handled when a million is trying to convert the content, because up until know I haven't gotten to see any videos on megavideo, but I'll keep trying....

techbeck said,
Thats a big screw you to Jobs. Maybe people will wake up now...doubt it tho

yep... "Screw you jobs... BTW, here's $300,000"

xendrome said,

yep... "Screw you jobs... BTW, here's $300,000"

But thats just the first week. Will be interesting to see how much SkyFire makes after a month or two...

techbeck said,

But thats just the first week. Will be interesting to see how much SkyFire makes after a month or two...

Giving people flash for free makes no money - and costs money to implement. Here they make loads of money and have no significant cost to bare.

so i think Jobs is counting on some company to make a flash compatible browsers and people would buy it and Apple would take the 30% profit instead of making iphone compatible with flash. Smart business i would say...

perochan said,
so i think Jobs is counting on some company to make a flash compatible browsers and people would buy it and Apple would take the 30% profit instead of making iphone compatible with flash. Smart business i would say...

Well there goes a million for Apple.

Now Apple has witnessed what the people want, will they follow with their mobile Safari for iPhone or will they continue to not support flash?

Just a thought: Apple will not admit to being wrong. What they will see this as, is unfortunate that there have to be services like Skyfire that convert Flash and other video to HTML5 because of lazy developers or slow adopters.

I am not saying that I agree with that statement. I am just pointing out that Steve Jobs would likely say something along those lines. Moral: Don't get your hopes up that Apple will see this and suddenly care about what it's customers want.

Xenosion said,

Just a thought: Apple will not admit to being wrong. What they will see this as, is unfortunate that there have to be services like Skyfire that convert Flash and other video to HTML5 because of lazy developers or slow adopters.

I am not saying that I agree with that statement. I am just pointing out that Steve Jobs would likely say something along those lines. Moral: Don't get your hopes up that Apple will see this and suddenly care about what it's customers want.


HTML5 isn't even a finalized statement. I personally see no point picking it up when hundreds of things can still change.

jbrooksuk said,

HTML5 isn't even a finalized statement. I personally see no point picking it up when hundreds of things can still change.

Did you not understand the part where I said I wouldn't agree with what I believe Steve may say? Steve has been pushing very hard for HTML5 to be adopted and even blaming developers for still using Flash.

jbrooksuk said,

HTML5 isn't even a finalized statement. I personally see no point picking it up when hundreds of things can still change.
True to an extent. The part that matters here (HTML5 video) is stable and finished.

Elliott said,
True to an extent. The part that matters here (HTML5 video) is stable and finished.

I'd hardly agree that it is anywhere near to primetime use when major browser vendors can't even agree on what codecs should be used.

Subject Delta said,

I'd hardly agree that it is anywhere near to primetime use when major browser vendors can't even agree on what codecs should be used.

Only Mozilla hasn't agreed, and they really aren't gonna have a choice. It's h264 and they are going to have to find a way to deal with it.

Ryoken said,
Only Mozilla hasn't agreed, and they really aren't gonna have a choice. It's h264 and they are going to have to find a way to deal with it.

Opera don't use H.264 either, they support Theora.

stevember said,
Make $1 million is NOT $1 million turnover...

Still amazing and shows Jobs what users want....

Yes, actually, it reinforces what Steve Jobs was saying: users want good content. If that content is in Flash, the content provider is failing.

Elliott said,
Yes, actually, it reinforces what Steve Jobs was saying: users want good content. If that content is in Flash, the content provider is failing.

The provider is failing just because Uberfuhrer Jobs says he doesn't like flash? Interesting position that.

Elliott said,
Yes, actually, it reinforces what Steve Jobs was saying: users want good content. If that content is in Flash, the content provider is failing.

lol

Singh400 said,
30%? Jesus.

Why so surprised? It's not unheard of for a "brick and mortar" product to be marked 300% in stores!

Singh400 said,
30%? Jesus.

Where have you been for the past 2+ years? 30% isn't much considering the App Store gives you access to millions of users. And you don't have to worry about distributing your app. Bandwidth isn't free.

From Skyfire's blog:

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!
That combined with this news, is pretty dam impressive. Who would have thought a browser could earn so much money / be that popular

And just to point out for the people who think Skyfire renders everything on their servers, it doesn't. Only flash, silverlight etc content is rendered on their servers and sent to your phone in an HTML5 format. The rest of the website is rendered on your device using Webkit.

So Skyfire is the top-grossing app at $1 million per week. Assuming its #1 position held true all week -- this means that $52 million in annual revenues is the *upper* limit on an iPhone app.

But Skyfire, at least, can finally pay back their VCs. For a while, they weren't doing so hot. Happens a lot to startups -- you start out to do one thing (mobile web browser), and you end up making up money somewhere else (transcoder -- without the browser).

So it must still render the .flv to and from their servers?

You've got to wonder what the operating costs of that must be, maybe they should've made this browser subscription based.