Apple has a pretty poor track record for services, with the social network for music, Ping, sacked after a painful few years and Maps becoming the laughing stock of Silicon Valley. However, Cupertino has one of the largest user accounts databases in the world, second only to Facebook.
500 million account names could be reason enough for Apple to delve into more services, but we suspect Apple has a bigger picture in mind, trying to keep relevant as competition grows.
Apple has an incredible product line, Mac OS and iOS are both very compelling platforms and there are services in the catalog that work well and have lots of usage, like iMessage and FaceTime, but there are others like Maps and Game Center with lacklustre performance.
There are places Apple could be more powerful, photo sharing is one place we have always thought Apple is missing out on. Apple could also try and integrate their services, for instance, sharing news about recent app purchases to Facebook or even iMessage.
In our view, if Apple try and integrate the account userbase into their next products, like Amazon do with the Kindle Fire, then they could be very successful.