Is iTunes the Biggest Credit Card Farm Online?

March 2nd, 2011 Leave a Comment

The most interesting nugget I’ve seen from today’s iPad 2 announcement was about iTunes, specifically that iTunes contains 200 million accounts.

Apple Now Has 200 Million iTunes Accounts, Biggest Credit Card Hub On Web

You can create an Apple ID without attaching a credit card, and I think you can use iTunes with that same ID and no credit card.

It’s been a while, so I could be wrong.

So, what’s not really clear is how many of the 200 million accounts have credit cards attached to them. Steve Jobs didn’t specify, but he did mention that he believed the iTunes number to be more than Amazon’s, which isn’t published.

Why does this matter?

Near Field Communications (NFC) adoption. Android’s Gingerbread (2.3) release includes NFC capabilities, and the Nexus S is the first of what will be many NFC-capable devices.

Apple’s iOS 5 and iPhone 5 are rumored to include NFC as well, and I read somewhere (can’t find the link) that Apple is courting retailers to launch their NFC feature.

That link, which I really need to find, also mentioned that Apple might give these retail partners POS terminals to work with their new NFC iPhones to sweeten the deal.

NFC will do a lot of cool things, but the big use case is the mobile wallet, which obviously appeals to retail.

Now we have a sense for how many credit card accounts iTunes contains. Interesting.

As a side note, Amazon is rumored to be launching their Amazon Appstore for Android later this month. I’d expect Amazon and Google to do something flashy with NFC too.

Maybe John (@johnyopp) and his retail lab will care to comment.


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