Steve Jobs has been very vocal regarding his opposition to the inclusion of Flash on the iPhone and as such, it is not supported by the IOS. There have been many discussions about this, with people weighing in on one side or the other. With all this going on SkyFire, an app that provides Flash on the iPhone, has been released for the iPhone and was an immediate success. Unfortunately, all that immediate success caused an overload on their web site for people trying to download the app.
An article from GigaOM about SkyFire shows just how popular it actually is. In their first weekend, where they had to stop offering the product through the iTunes store, they were able to have it downloaded over 300,000 times before their servers could not handle the load. With those kinds of numbers, it was extremely popular. The numbers are even more impressive given the cost to the user was $2.99 and after Apple took their standard 30% cut, SkyFire was able to make anywhere between $600,000 and $700,000 for that weekend.
The strange thing about all this, is it is a contradiction to statements by Steve Jobs and people are showing what they want to see with their wallets. While Steve Job’s does not want to see Flash on the iPhone and that HTML5 is the future, the success SkyFire has achieved is significant and cannot be ignored by anyone. I am very surprised by these numbers and since then, they have continued to have huge numbers in downloads, though they are releasing them in batches so their servers can keep up. This will be the same situation if they release a version for the iPad and given the numbers, there is no reason for them to not create one.
The SkyFire does not work with games on the iPhone, so why all the downloads? It appears to be all the streaming video and TV shows people are watching on their iPhones. Not every site that has the content has both HTML5 and Flash, which in those situations the only option is Flash. One of the shows in the article is “The Daily Show” and that is very popular and would explain what is going on. Until all of the sites convert to HTML5, we can expect to see this situation exist. SkyFire will continue to make a lot of money and Steve Jobs will continue to be proven wrong by the volume of purchases.
It appears the old adage about the customer always being right does not apply to Apple.