Here’s a look at the most popular email clients in February 2022, and what shifts happened with email client market share last month.
Top email clients
Before we dive in, there are a few things we’d like to note:
- As of fall 2021, the category “Apple” includes Apple iPhone (iOS Mail), Apple Mail (macOS Mail), Apple iPad (iPadOS Mail), and Apple Mail Privacy Protection (Apple privacy-impacted opens). To learn why, check out this blog post.
- Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection (MPP) hides device data so we aren’t able to differentiate between iOS, iPadOS, or macOS. Additionally, the new OSes don’t differentiate between MPP and non-MPP in the user agent data it passes.
Having said, the top 3 most popular email clients for February 2022 are Apple, Gmail, and Outlook.
- Apple: 59.8%
- Gmail: 27.4%
- Outlook: 4.3%
- Yahoo Mail: 3.4%
- Google Android: 1.7%
- Outlook.com: 0.9%
- Samsung Mail: 0.3%
- Windows Live Mail: 0.1%
- Web.de: 0.04%
- GMX: 0.04%
Apple takes the top spot as the most popular email client, with a share of 59.8%. Since MPP’s launch in September, Apple has been slowly climbing for the most part. Compared to last month, Apple’s share increased from 57.2% to 59.8%, a growth of 2.6%.
As Apple grew its share, Gmail and Outlook decreased their shares, now at 27.4% and 4.3%, respectively.
Let’s take a closer look at each Apple subcategory:
- Apple Mail Privacy Protection: 49.9%
- Apple iPhone (iOS Mail): 5.8%
- Apple Mail (macOS Mail): 3.6%
- Apple iPad (iPadOS Mail): 0.5%
Apple Mail Privacy Protection’s share grew by 11.88%, from 44.6% in January to 49.9% in February. When we reported on this last month, the growth was much smaller at 8.78%. We wondered whether this was a sign of MPP’s normalization—but with this month’s growth, it appears things are yet again fluctuating.
Want more data and trends? Check out our email client market share site, which includes Apple’s MPP data, pre- and post-MPP launch.
Opens by environment
Though we’ve been able to track MPP Litmus Email Analytics for the past six months, we consider our metrics on Apple privacy-impacted opens to be early data, as MPP adoption continues to normalize.
- Apple Mail Privacy Protection: 49.4%
- Webmail: 33.4%
- Mobile: 8.2%
- Desktop: 7.9%
- Other: 1%
Historically, webmail was the most popular open environment but that changed in December 2021 when Apple Mail Privacy Protection took the number one spot. Apple Mail Privacy Protection continues to increase, from 44.2% last month to 49.4% in February, growing by 11.76%.
Most popular mobile opens
The top 3 most popular mobile open environments continue to be the same: Apple iPhone (iOS Mail), Google Android, Apple iPad (iPadOS Mail).
- Apple iPhone (iOS Mail): 69.9%
- Google Android: 20.3%
- Apple iPad (iPadOS Mail): 5.6%
Over the past few months, Apple iPhone (iOS Mail) has been slowly decreasing, now at 69.9%, whereas six months ago it was at 90.5%. This could be due to the introduction of MPP, as the new OSes don’t differentiate between MPP and non-MPP in the user agent data it passes. However, even with this decline, Apple iPhone (iOS Mail) continues to hold steady as the most popular mobile email client.
In contrast, Google Android has been increasing its share over the past few months. In August 2021, its share was 4.9%; this month it’s at 20.3%. Apple iPad (iPadOS Mail) has also grown, but at a much smaller margin, from 3% to 5.6% over the course of the past six months.
Most popular webmail opens
What were the most popular webmail email clients? No surprise here: The top webmail clients by open are still Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Outlook.com.
- Gmail: 86.2%
- Yahoo Mail: 10.8%
- Outlook.com: 2.7%
Similar to last month, Gmail’s share decreased—from 89% to 86.2%—but it still has a stronghold in top place as the most popular webmail client.
Though small, Yahoo Mail increased its market share, from 7.7% to 10.8%, up by over three percentage points. Outlook.com decreased slightly, from 3% to 2.7%.
Wondering why we categorize Gmail as webmail? Learn how Gmail opens are reported in Email Analytics.
Most popular desktop opens
As for desktop opens: The top 3 are still Outlook, Apple Mail (macOS Mail), and Windows Live Mail.
- Outlook: 53.9%
- Apple Mail (macOS Mail): 44.8%
- Windows Live Mail: 1.1%
Taking the top spot is Outlook, with a share of 53.9%, up by 3.5% compared to last month. Outlook’s reign as the most popular desktop client is relatively new, as it’s typically occupied by Apple Mail (macOS Mail)—something we pointed out last month. Again, this could be due to the introduction of MPP.
Light Mode vs. Dark Mode opens
February marks the sixth month we’re able to track Dark Mode usage with Litmus Email Analytics.
Before we dive in, we’d like to note that our Dark Mode data is based only on the Apple Mail app for iOS 13, macOS 13, iOS 14, macOS 14, iPadOS 14, iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and Apple Mail privacy-impacted devices.
- Light Mode: 74.2%
- Dark Mode: 25.8%
Not much has changed—Light Mode is still the most popular reading environment over Dark Mode. Light Mode’s share decreased by a hair, from 74.3% to 74.2%. Dark Mode increased slightly as well, from 25.7% to 25.8%.
Your turn: Take a look at your audience
Email client market share is a powerful tool to have in your arsenal, but the real power lies within your audience. We recommend using email client market share as a reference point for insights on the industry as a whole, but the key to unlocking your potential lies within your subscriber base.
Stay tuned next month: We’ll be back next month to share what shifts took place.
Where did we get all this data? Our email client market share stats are pulled from over a billion email opens, anonymously collected and aggregated with Litmus Email Analytics from February 1-28, 2022. It highlights global trends across all industries and verticals. Some email clients may be over- or under-represented, particularly with mobile and webmail. This is due to image blocking or image caching, most notably with Gmail. Still curious? Learn how we get this data.
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