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Apple iTunes nears 800 million mark

CEO Tim Cook touts the now "staggering" number of iTunes accounts while discussing Apple's blowout quarter.

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Another banner Apple quarter punctuated by nearly 800 million iTunes accounts. Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Apple now has nearly 800 million iTunes accounts, a number that CEO Tim Cook described as "staggering" during the company's conference call today to discuss its March quarter financial results.

The last time Apple talked about iTunes accounts was during its annual developers conference last June when the company announced 575 million accounts.

"We now have an almost 800 million iTunes accounts, most of these with credit cards," Cook said during the call Wednesday. "This is a staggering number."

Despite the sharp uptick in iTunes accounts, iTunes sales did show signs of deceleration.

"Keep in mind, in that category there's several things -- not just the App Store kind of revenues," Cook said responding to a question from an analyst on the call. "So if you looked at App Store only, it would look a little different than what you're saying. But in terms of your question about monetization, I do believe that we can monetize more than we are from a services point of view in existing areas and in new areas. And I'm particularly encouraged that when I look at the App Store and how it's doing, the strength was broad-based. In fact, in China, the growth was in the triple digits."

The 800 million number was just one headline in what amounted to a blowout quarter by Apple which upped its dividend and raised its forecast for its next quarter, which runs through June. In after-hours trading on Wednesday, Apple's stock soared by more than 8 percent.