We recently highlighted research from eMarketer that suggested that Twitter’s revenue from advertising could pass half a billion dollars by 2014. That would see it triple the $139.5 million that ads brought it last year which, if you ask us, is pretty good going for a firm that has struggled to turn popularity into cash.

However, here’s a reality check that shows Twitter’s revenue model is just small change compared to the other big boys in the tech playground. As Forbes points out, Apple’s latest figures show that it made more revenue in one single day, on average, than Twitter generated over the course of an entire year.

That’s going on the Cupertino-based firm’s incredible last quarter, in which it posted revenues in excess of $46 billion, which work out to around $509 million per day.

Of course, you could hang any tech firm based on these stellar figures. Apple’s earnings have already been pitted against Google, to show that its profits for its last quarter exceeded Google’s entire revenue for that period, however this new metric against Twitter is a quite staggering, if somewhat unfair, comparison.

Apple is swinging on all fronts. Not only is it leading the global smartphone market — selling 37 million iPhones worldwide in three months, with demand for its products causing chaos in markets like Hong Kong and China — but its Macs are going great guns too. Twitter, in contrast, is still very much in development.

Like many a Web startup it began life solely focused on building users and traction, adopting the  much-used ‘revenues will follow later, somehow’ approach to monetisation. Twitter is still building the financial part of its business through its advertising options — which have been positively received — and it fair to say that it is really still building its user base and expanding into mainstream demographics. Ironically Apple is giving it a major hand in this department.

Apple’s latest operating system (OS) has the microblogging service built into its core. QED Twitter CEO Dick Costolo revealed that, following the launch of iOS5, the firm saw the number of sign-ups  via the Apple OS increase three fold.

It’s going to take some time until Twitter can close that gap and even increase its annual revenue to that which Apple sees in one day. But, then again, most Web firms would be happy to make anything even close to that figure, such is the colossus that Apple is today.