The Potential of Apple’s 500 Million User Account [Morgan Stanley Analyst]

With the unveiling of iRadio is rumoured to be just a few days away, Katy Huberty, a Morgan Stanley analyst, has taken Apple’s 500 million user base under her loupe and published an extensive report highlighting its potential for sales and revenue growth (via AppleInsider).


Although Android users are more numerous, Apple’s 500 million+ registered users and the active credit cards linked to their accounts make it one of the fastest growing user bases among technology companies, second only to Facebook.

With 600 million registered users forecasted by the end of 2013, Apple’s has several potential monetization scenarios, according to Huberty’s report. One is mobile payments, driven by the introduction of the rumoured fingerprint scanner.

iRadio (a music streaming service) is something Apple is rumoured to be working on. As reported by the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, Apple inked a deal with Warner Music Group, so everything is set for a launch at the next Worldwide Developers Conference.

Huberty emphasizes the potential for a new ad exchange. Xaxis’ COO could be right after all? the already existing iAd platform wasn’t Apple’s best move. Yet an ad exchange could drive more money to mobile app developers.

“Users benefit from potentially lower pricing for apps and services if developers make some of their money from ads,” she said. “The ad experience could also be a lot better as the design and relevancy of ads improve. They could become more tasteful (like fashion magazines) rather than annoying (many ads in Web browsers).”

Huberty’s report comes after Tim Cook underscored the company’s efforts to improve its services during his conversation with Walt Mossberg on the D11 stage.

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