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An infographic published by Litmus shows that more email is opened on mobile devices (36% as of April 2012) than in desktop clients (33%). The actual breakdown of email clients, as shown below, shows that the iPhone is in the lead in terms of opened emails accounting for 20% of the market share, with Outlook not too far behind at 18%.

One thing that remains unclear is whether webmail opens (e.g. Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, and web version) would boost the mobile or desktop numbers, as webmail can occur on either platform. Another thing of note is how low Gmail ranked in the findings, even though it’s estimated Gmail has more users than Hotmail. It’s possible that Gmail’s numbers may be affected by people who use Gmail in an actual desktop client such as Apple Mail, Outlook, or even on a mobile device such as the iPhone (in the Mail app).

Email Client Market Share (April 2012)

  • iPhone: 20%
  • Outlook: 18%
  • Yahoo: 13%
  • Apple Mail: 9%
  • Hotmail: 8%
  • Apple iPad: 8%
  • Android: 7%
  • Gmail: 5%
  • Web Version: 5%
  • Windows Live Mail: 3%

In addition to the infographic, Litmus also has a dedicated site for tracking email client market share, that has more recent statistics for September 2012. The new numbers show that Apple’s iPhone has remained in the lead now with 21% of email client market share. While both Yahoo and Gmail both lost ground, Apple’s iPad and Apple Mail gained percentage points in September, as did Hotmail.

Email Client Market Share (September 2012)

  • iPhone: 21%
  • Outlook: 18%
  • Apple iPad: 10%
  • Apple Mail: 9%
  • Hotmail: 9%
  • Yahoo: 8%
  • Android: 7%
  • Gmail: 4%
  • Windows Live Mail: 3%
  • Yahoo Mail Classic: 2%

Note: Litmus can only count email opens in clients that don’t automatically block images from loading.


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