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Email Client Market Share in July 2021: A Peek at Dark Mode Usage and Android vs. iPhone Outside of the US


It’s time for our recap of last month’s top trends and shifts in email client market share. It’s a closer look at a snapshot in time—versus our annual email client market share blog post—so we can bring you up to speed with the latest insights, faster.

So what happened in July? To be honest, not a whole lot has changed compared to June. But since we’re all worried about Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection, I thought I’d also share some things we don’t normally include in this monthly series: Apple Mail Dark Mode usage and iPhone usage outside of the United States.

Let’s go.

Top 10 email clients overall

If you’ve been keeping up with this, we’re probably going to sound like a broken record here: The top 3 email clients are still Apple iPhone (iOS Mail), Gmail, and Apple Mail (macOS Mail).

July 2021 Top 10 email clients overall

Apple iPhone increased its email client market share a tiny bit—about one percentage point since June. When we look at Apple Mail across the iPhone, iPad, and Mac, that combined share has grown to 49.7%.

It’s interesting to see how much Gmail has been gaining ground, though. Since Q1 (January-March) of this year, it’s grown by nearly 8 percentage points! Still not enough to steal Apple iPhone’s crown, though. This bump could be chalked up to a seasonal shift (more on that later).

Otherwise, all ranks have remained the same since June with one exception: Apple iPad and have swapped spots by a very thin margin, with now at #7 and Apple iPad at #8. Apple iPad decreased in popularity by 3.3% while increased theirs by 5.9%. One thing to note? Apple iPad’s share has been slowly waning with each passing month this year.

  1. Apple iPhone (iOS Mail): 38.6%
  2. Gmail: 35%
  3. Apple Mail (macOS Mail): 9.9%
  4. Outlook: 6.3%
  5. Yahoo! Mail: 4.7%
  6. Google Android: 2.1%
  7. 1.3%
  8. Apple iPad (iPadOS Mail): 1.2%
  9. Samsung Mail: 0.7%
  10. Windows Live Mail: 0.1%

And because I’m a nerd, I was curious about Dark Mode and dug even further into our data. We can currently see Dark Mode vs. Light Mode for iPhone iOS 13 and iOS 14 as well as Apple Mail 13. Altogether, Dark Mode makes up almost 29%! This may be the case (or close to it) across the board, so consider optimizing your emails for Dark Mode.

What does your Apple Mail audience look like?

Get ready for Mail Privacy Protection by first establishing a baseline of your Apple Mail audience. No need to crunch the numbers manually. We’ve got your automated and personalized Apple Audience Report right here.

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Opens by environment

Mobile has remained the top dog all year long and even increased its share by 2% in July. Webmail came in as a very close second with desktop trailing behind at #3.

July 2021 Top email reading environments

Although mobile is up from June, when you compare to the beginning of the year, it’s actually down while webmail is higher than it was. Desktop has dropped significantly.

  1. Mobile: 42%
  2. Webmail: 40.4%
  3. Desktop: 16.1%
  4. Other: 1.5%

With pent up demand due to the pandemic and the world feeling a greater sense of safety (before all this Delta variant business, of course), people have been going out with a vengeance. Meaning, not being tethered to their work or their computers—a likely reason for the drop in desktop email opens.

Most popular mobile opens

Dialing in on mobile email apps, the top 3 have remained the same with iPhone at the very top.

July 2021 Most popular mobile email clients

There have been some changes in the exact share each of the top 3 holds, but it’s nothing worth noting (think, a tenth or a hundredth percentage point kind of movement).

  1. Apple iPhone (iOS Mail): 90.5%
  2. Google Android: 5%
  3. Apple iPad (iPadOS Mail): 2.7%

Here’s something you might find fascinating, though. Nearly 65% of our data comes from the United States. When we dig deeper into non-US mobile apps like GMX and, the number of Android users is nearly 5 times more than iPhone and iPad combined.

Keep in mind, Mail Privacy Protection only impacts Apple’s native Mail app. So using the GMX mobile app on an iPhone won’t be affected by Apple’s upcoming privacy measure.

Most popular webmail opens

Changes in the webmail email client landscape have also been minimal.

July 2021 Most popular webmail email clients

Compared to June, Gmail’s share in July was the same while Yahoo! Mail went down a tiny bit with capturing Yahoo! Mail’s lost share.

  1. Gmail: 85.2%
  2. Yahoo! Mail: 11.4%
  3. 3%

Curious why we count Gmail as webmail? Learn how Gmail opens are reported in Email Analytics.

Most popular desktop opens

Of the three different reading environments, desktop saw the most movement, but it’s still not a whole lot.

July 2021 Most popular desktop email clients

Apple Mail increased its stronghold on the top spot by 2.5%. Outlook fell by 3.5%, and Windows Live Mail decreased a smidge. Since many people use Outlook for business, it’s not surprising to see the drop given the vacation state of mind folks are in.

  1. Apple Mail: 60.4%
  2. Outlook: 38.6%
  3. Windows Live Mail: 0.8%

What will happen next?

A lot, or a little, can happen over a month. Though not much has changed in email client market share in July, I hope the extra insights I’ve provided will help you make better email marketing decisions.

Stay tuned as we report back again next month.

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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 July 1-31, 2021. 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.