Apple has more accounts than Amazon, earns more per account

By Randell Suba , Jun 05, 2013 08:17 AM EDT

Apple has an active consumer base and those users love to spend. That summarizes the view of an analyst who looked into how leading technology companies will use the numbers to their advantage.

Katy Huberty of Morgan Stanley has released a report, revealing that Apple has 500 million active user accounts, only second to Facebook's 1.05 billion, while it outpaces Amazon, which has 200 million user accounts.

The number of active accounts of Apple also means that there are half a billion active credit card holders who can spend given the right signals. According to Apple Insider, that detailed Huberty's analysis, each Apple consumer spends $329 on average making Apple the alpha dog in the pack of technology companies. Amazon comes in at second with account users spending $305 and eBay trails behind at $125.

Huberty sees an additional 100 million Apple IDs to be created this year consistent with the 55 percent account base growth in 2012. This will allow the iPhone and iPad maker to widen the gap between itself and its rival online retailers such as Amazon.

The analyst sees Apple to make most of the numbers by launching new services.

For instance, Huberty sees the rumored finger print sensor on the next iPhone as a perfect springboard for an e-wallet payment system that will boost further Apple's sales of music and smartphone applications.

Apple is also expected to launch the iRadio at the upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) and this music streaming service is forecasted to generate an additional $1 billion for the company coming from subscriptions and income from display ads.

With 500 million active accounts, Apple also has a treasure trove of data about consumers' buying habits that the company can leverage through an ad exchange service, according to a Macrumors report. Apple did not confirm nor deny of plans for such ventures.

Huberty also views ad exchange as a big opportunity for Apple and she sees a good chance that Apple can tap its existing mobile ad network to launch one.

What the Morgan Stanley analyst is saying might sound consistent with the views of Apple CEO Tim Cook:

"The key in the post-PC era is to have incredible hardware, software, and services, and to combine them so you can't tell what's what. The magic is at the intersection," Cook said during an interview at the D11: All Things Digital event on May 28.

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