That Opera managed to get their mobile web browser, a competitor to the iPhone’s Safari, to the App Store came as quite a shock, but the aftershocks could be even bigger as Skyfire takes it as a sign that their video-enabling mobile browser could have a shot. Could they bring Flash to the iPhone?
Skyfire is a mobile web browser that launched a few years ago. Like Opera Mobile, it routes page requests through a central server that crunches down the requested page for quick viewing on your handheld. But unlike OM, Skyfire can handle a variety of video formats, including Silverlight and Flash. These also get processed through their server and are delivered in some other format (haven’t tracked down the details yet). Thus, if Skyfire could run on the iPhone, it could give users a way to view Flash video without native Flash support.
That “if” is the big question. In a blog post congratulating Opera and Apple, the folks as Skyfire had this to say…
Everyone at Skyfire was heartened by this decision by Apple, to open up their platform and believe this sets a solid precedent for additional innovation in mobile browsing from other companies.[…] The Skyfire team has been watching the Opera submission and the iPhone/iPad market closely, and this will certainly accelerate our strategy on iDevices.
No concrete plans yet, but certainly they’ve been emboldened by this turn of events. To some extent, allowing Skyfire would be counter to Apple’s stance against Adobe. On the other hand, access to Flash video without built-in Flash support screws Adobe to a degree and weakens their customer choice argument. Will need to keep an eye on this.