Apple has a current user account base is at 500 million users and growing. Apple’s users spend at such a rate that one analyst believes that new services such as mobile payments and streaming radio could be a key ingredient in the company’s future growth.
Apple’s half-billion registered users with active credit cards one of the largest and fastest growing bases among technology companies. In fact, according to data compiled by Morgan Stanley, Apple is only second to Facebook in total number of user accounts as of 2012.
Apple’s 500 million active accounts are more than double online retailer Amazon’s 200 million active users. Apple’s account base grew a staggering 55% in 2012.
Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty expects that Apple will reach 600 million users with active Apple IDs this year, extending its lead over rival platforms such as Amazon. Morgan Stanley found that Apple generates an average revenue of $329 per user. That gives it the top spot among tech companies, well ahead of second place Amazon’s $305 per account, and eBay’s third place $125.
Huberty sees Apple rolling out new platforms in much the same vein as iTunes and the Apple Store, which will leverage content from others rather than the company owning the content or apps.
The analyst also sees e-wallet payments tied to existing iTunes and App Store accounts being used with an iOS device to authorize purchases at bricks-and-mortar stores.
Huberty says Apple’s much rumored streaming music service could be a cash cow for the company, noting the company could generate as much as a billion dollars of annualized revenue through an “iRadio” service.