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Email client market share in 2020: What’s most popular? [Infographic]

Last year, we analyzed over 12 billion email opens using Litmus Email Analytics to see where subscribers read emails. It’s no question that the COVID-19 pandemic turned the world upside down. So while a few things stayed the same, we definitely saw some movement in terms of email client popularity.

In our 2020 Email Client Market Share infographic, we take a look at mobile, webmail, and desktop email opens over the course of the year. And we share insights into why these changes occurred and how they may affect your email campaigns.

To get a full, in-depth picture of where, how, and when people engage with email, download our 2020 State of Email Engagement report.

Check out the infographic here, or read the transcript below it.

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2020 email client market share infographic

Transcript: 2020 email client market share

We analyzed over 12 billion email opens in 2020 to determine where subscribers are reading emails. Here’s what we found…

Top email clients

The top 10 most popular email clients from January – December 2020
Ranking compared to April 2019

  1. Apple iPhone (up 1): 34.2%
  2. Gmail (down 1): 30.7%
  3. Apple Mail (up 2): 10.4%
  4. Outlook (down 1): 7.3%
  5. Yahoo! Mail (up 1): 4.7%
  6. Apple iPad (down 2): 1.7%
  7. Samsung Mail (up 2): 1.6%
  8. Outlook Mobile: 1.6%
  9. Google Android (down 2): 1.2%
  10. Outlook.com (down 2): 0.9%

Apple iPhone has taken back the crown with a nearly 4-point lead in global email client market share. Together with Gmail, these two’s dominance has increased 17% since 2019.

Apple Mail grew to be the #3 most popular email client, up from #5 a year ago. And Outlook Mobile broke into the top 10 for the first time.

Yahoo! Mail’s rank went up, but its actual email client market share went down.

Apple iPad has seen the biggest loss in email client market share, now a fifth of what it had in 2019.

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Opens by environment

Webmail surpassed mobile as the top way to read email with 48.8% of email client market share between April and June of 2020. This coincides with the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, causing people to be in front of their computers—instead of their phones—for more and varied hours. However, as the year came to a close, mobile gained ground again as the #1 way to read email.

2020 email opens by reading environment according to Litmus Email Analytics
Source: Litmus Email Analytics | Data shown here doesn’t include a small percentage of unidentified email opens

Desktop

  • Q1 2020: 17.3%
  • Q2 2020: 15.9%
  • Q3 2020: 19.4%
  • Q4 2020: 19.9%

Webmail

  • Q1 2020: 35.7%
  • Q2 2020: 48.8%
  • Q3 2020: 39.3%
  • Q4 2020: 35.2%

Mobile

  • Q1 2020: 45%
  • Q2 2020: 33.8%
  • Q3 2020: 39.9%
  • Q4 2020: 43.5%

Top mobile opens

Apple’s iPhone continues to be the seemingly untouchable leader in mobile email. Almost 85% of all mobile email opens happen on iPhones. And an additional 4.3% come from Apple’s iPad, the second most popular mobile email client. Although Outlook Mobile placed fourth overall, it was #2 (barely!) in mobile opens between April and September of 2020 when many office employees were sent home to work.

2020 top mobile email client market share via Litmus Email Analytics
Source: Litmus Email Analytics

Apple iPhone

  • Q1 2020: 84.8%
  • Q2 2020: 83.5%
  • Q3 2020: 83.8%
  • Q4 2020: 86.8%

Apple iPad

  • Q1 2020: 4.7%
  • Q2 2020: 4.6%
  • Q3 2020: 4.2%
  • Q4 2020: 3.7%

Samsung Mail

  • Q1 2020: 4.0%
  • Q2 2020: 4.2%
  • Q3 2020: 4.2%
  • Q4 2020: 3.8%

Top webmail opens

It’s not surprising that Gmail is the leader in webmail clients. Almost 76% of webmail opens happen in Gmail while Yahoo! Mail takes the next spot with 11.6% overall.

2020 top webmail email client market share via Litmus Email Analytics
Source: Litmus Email Analytics

Gmail

  • Q1 2020: 72.2%
  • Q2 2020: 80.3%
  • Q3 2020: 71.6%
  • Q4 2020: 75.4%

Yahoo! Mail

  • Q1 2020: 12.4%
  • Q2 2020: 8.3%
  • Q3 2020: 13%
  • Q4 2020: 14.8%

Outlook.com

  • Q1 2020: 3.5%
  • Q2 2020: 1.9%
  • Q3 2020: 2.9%
  • Q4 2020: 1%

Top desktop opens

Apple Mail overtakes Outlook for the top spot when it comes to desktop clients with nearly 58% overall (and trending to keep gaining email desktop client market share). But Outlook is holding firm in second with almost 41%. These two continue to hold the lion’s share of the desktop email client market.

2020 top desktop email client market share via Litmus Email Analytics
Source: Litmus Email Analytics

Apple Mail

  • Q1 2020: 55.8%
  • Q2 2020: 56.8%
  • Q3 2020: 57.4%
  • Q4 2020: 60.2%

Outlook

  • Q1 2020: 42.2%
  • Q2 2020: 41.6%
  • Q3 2020: 41.1%
  • Q4 2020: 38.5%

Windows Live Mail

  • Q1 2020: 1.4%
  • Q2 2020: 1.3%
  • Q3 2020: 1.2%
  • Q4 2020: 1%
2020 State of Email Engagement by Litmus

Get an in-depth look at the State of Email Engagement

Want the full research on 2020 email client market share and an in-depth look at when, where, and how people engage with email? Download our State of Email Engagement report.

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Your subscriber base isn’t the average

Email client usage differs from industry to industry and from brand to brand. Wondering how your subscribers open their email? Find out with a free trial of Litmus Email Analytics.

Litmus empowers you and your team with the tools and insights you need to ensure a consistently great brand experience for every subscriber, work more efficiently, accelerate campaign performance, reduce errors, and stay out of the spam folder.

Where did we get all this data? Our 2020 market share data comes from over 12 billion email opens worldwide, anonymously collected and aggregated with Litmus Email Analytics from January 1 – December 31, 2020. It highlights global trends across all industries and verticals. Some email clients may be over- or under-represented due to image blocking.

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