Mobile Opens Hit 51%; Android Claims #3 Spot

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It’s official: mobile now accounts for the majority of email opens, with a 51% share. That’s an increase of three percentage points since the previous record of 48% from September and October. Desktop opens now make up 31% of opens, while webmail has dipped to 18%.

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It seems like with each passing holiday season, mobile everything gets a little closer to taking over the world. This ongoing trend is one of many indications that the rise of mobile is primarily consumer-driven.

MOBILE LEADS AT THE EXPENSE OF WEBMAIL

While desktop opens have fluctuated over the year, their net change is an unimpressive zero. In other words, desktop opens are at 31%—exactly where they were a year ago. Since last November, mobile opens have increased 24% (from 41% to 51%), while webmail has decreased 36% (from 28% to 18%). Each environment saw a ten-percentage-point change, essentially leading to a swap between the two:

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This swap is further evidence that consumers are the ones turning to their smartphones for email, while businesses continue to rely on desktop email.

WEBMAIL USERS PREFER READING EMAIL ON MOBILE

Our Email Analytics data supports that conclusion. Webmail users can choose to view messages in a browser, using a mobile device, or even in a desktop email client, and no surprise—they are turning to mobile more often.

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  • 22% of webmail users open emails in a browser
  • 17% open in a desktop email client
  • A whopping 61% open on a mobile device

Drilling down into specific webmail providers, there are some clear trends here as well:

  • Gmail and Yahoo! users are the most mobile-savvy, with 68% of opens occurring on a smartphone or tablet
  • 56% of AOL opens happen on mobile
  • Outlook.com users use mobile about half the time, with 47% of opens coming from devices

We can also take a look at which specific operating systems or devices are most popular amongst webmail users:

  • Apple iPhone: 26%
  • Google Android: 22%
  • Apple iPad: 13%

ANDROID UPSETS IPAD FOR #3 SPOT

Mobile tipping past the 50% point is certainly big news, but that shouldn’t be overshadowed by Android’s recent rise to the top three in email client market share. Last month, Android was within a percentage point of claiming iPad’s long-held spot at #3. The platform finally pulled ahead, gaining nearly three percentage points in November and upsetting iPad with 14% of total opens.

While Android opens are hard to track due to automatic image blocking, sales of Android smartphones have continued to outpace other platforms. Gartner reports that 82% of smartphones sales in Q3 were for Android devices, compared to 12% for iOS.