Ars Technica has gotten an inside look into the success of Uzu, the “multitouch particle visualizer” that was a huge hit on the iPad. The application was featured on the iTunes “App of the Week”, which caused a massive increase in sales. The developer went from making $1,400 per week to a peak of $18,000 for a single week of sales after Apple’s cut. The developer seems to be a one-man team, so he gets every penny for himself. Not a bad way to make a living if you ask me.
I would estimate that these sales numbers are average for what would be considered a “pretty successful” app, and some games like Doodle Jump probably average exponentially more sales than the one-time-hit Uzu. (Not to say that it isn’t excellent, just that it’s time in the spotlight was short lived compared to some others.)
Mobile applications have opened a huge window for developers, who previously needed large teams of artists and programmers just to push out one console game (which could end up being a huge flop, costing more money than it makes). Now, lone-coders can do everything themselves on a smaller scale, in a fraction of the time, with potentially mind-boggling results.
If you’re looking to pick up a hobby, I suggest you buy Objective-C for Dummies, and try to make the next hit app; who knows, you may never have to work in an office a day in your life.
Also, since so many of you complained about how Uzu is only available on the iPad, the creator has released Little Uzu for the iPhone, which is just as addicting as its big brother.
Hit the source for fancy graphs chronicling Uzu’s success.