According to to a new research report from Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty, Apple's base of 500 million active user accounts is higher than any other company, save for Facebook which has 1.05 billion accounts. Amazon, meanwhile, checks in at third place with 200 million accounts.
A crucial difference, however, is that Apple has 500 million credit card accounts on file. Apple is therefore able to leverage its software and services in a way that competitors simply can't match.
Consequently, it should come as no surprise that when it comes to revenue generated per individual account, Apple comes out on top with an average of US$329 per user. Amazon follows close behind with $305 per user while eBay is a distant third with $125 per user. Meanwhile, Facebook, generates a paltry $5 in revenue per user.
Looking ahead, Huberty anticipates that Apple will be able to leverage its 500-million-strong pool of accounts to make inroads in three areas -- mobile payments, streaming music and targeted advertising.