Gmail Claims #4 Spot; Android Dips 20%

[ 0 By

February market share saw continued changes to mobile and webmail stats as Gmail continues to upset previous trends. Mobile opens decreased from 49% to 48%—a position that they haven’t seen since October.


iPhone still reigns at the #1 spot with 25% of total opens—an increase of 1 percentage point since last month. Since October, iPad opens have remained steady with 12% market share. Android opens moved from fourth position to #5, and now represents 9% of opens—a 20% decrease from the previous month.


While desktop opens have remained steady at 27%, we’ve seen another increase in webmail opens. With Gmail automatically enabling images, webmail opens have been on a continuous increase and now represent 25% of total opens—a level that they haven’t been at since March 2013.

Gmail opens continued to climb for the 4th month in a row, and now represents 10% of total opens—a 281% increase since November. While we assumed Gmail opens would rise, we expected a sharp increase rather than a steady climb. Comparing webmail open rates with and without Gmail factored in, we can see a flat trendline for other webmail providers.


It may be too early to tell, but it looks like Gmail opens may be finally leveling off. We’ll continue to monitor Gmail open rates.


View past market share updates:

Information on Gmail image caching and image blocking:

As always, keep in mind that some email clients may be over- or under-reported due to automatic enablement of images and/or image blocking. Tracking trends over time is the best way to monitor open data for email! 

  • Joe Garite II

    Since Gmail has started accepting images, we’ve seen your graphs change drastically. Isn’t it possible that these results are now skewed and hold little weight? Does Gmail loading the image and caching it cause every email being sent to a gmail address to be counted as an open?

    • Justine, Litmus

      Hi Joe, I address these points in the post above and in the video. Open tracking is a bit of an imperfect tracking mechanism, and because of it’s reliance on images being turned on, we try to look at trends rather than one-off changes—hence the long-term analysis and line charts over time. I expect that once the impact of changes at Gmail have leveled off, we’ll gain some perspective and see new trends start to emerge.

      Gmail’s loading and caching of images means that each time a message is viewed, it’s automatically counted as an open, since the images are automatically downloaded. Previously, a user had to click a “download images” link before the view was counted as an open. It does not mean that every email being sent to a gmail address is counted as an open—the user still needs to interact with the email.

      More info here:

      • Joe Garite II

        If the images are automatically downloaded when the email is opened, wouldn’t this make tracking more accurate?

        • Justine, Litmus

          Arguably, yes! It’s just the adjustment period that throws everyone off. Everyone is used to seeing Gmail report lower open stats, so things don’t make sense for a while :)

  • Pingback: Email security with Gmail increases: HTTPS-only and 99.978% availability()

  • Pingback: Understanding Gmail Opens - Help – Litmus()

  • Pingback: Responsive email design – the clever part | JustGiving blog()

  • Pingback: 10 Email Marketing Tips For Improving Open Rates | Canvass Blog()

  • Pingback: Email Marketing Statistics 2015 — Octa Eye()