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The 2017 Email Client Market Share [Infographic]


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Make sure to check out the most recent version of the Email Client Market Share infographic. You can find it here.

Over the course of the past year, we’ve analyzed 15 billion email opens to see where subscribers read emails, and summarized our findings in our 2017 Email Client Market Share infographic. We take a look at what Litmus Email Analytics taught us about mobile, webmail, and desktop opens over the course of the year, analyze major movements in email client popularity, and provide insights into what those changes might mean for email marketers.

Check out the infographic, or read the transcription below it.

What you can (and cannot) do with Email Client Market Share data

Curious how you can put these insights into action? Justine Jordan, VP of Marketing at Litmus, helps you understand what the Email Client Market Share data can tell you about your audience (and what it doesn’t), and helps you understand how you can use Email Analytics insights to make the right decisions for your subscribers.

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Email Client Market Share 2016

Put Email Analytics Insights into Action with the State of Email Creative Ebook

State of Email Creative Ebook

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We tracked 15 billion email opens in 2017 to determine where subscribers are reading emails. Here’s what we found…

If each of the emails we tracked was a letter, this pile would be 28,000 miles high.


The top 10 most popular email clients as of December 2017 (Ranking compared to December 2016)

  1. iPhone, 28%   (+/- 0)
  2. Gmail, 26% (+/- 0)
  3. iPad, 11% (+/- 0)
  4. Apple Mail, 7% (+ 1)
  5. Outlook, 6% (+1)
  6. Samsung Mail, 5% (NEW)
  7., 4% (+/- 0)
  8. Google Android, 3% (- 4)
  9. Yahoo! Mail, 2% (-1)
  10. Windows Live Mail, 1% (+/- 0)
  • iPhone, Gmail, and iPad remained the top 3 email clients in 2017.
  • Only two percentage points separate Gmail from the most popular email client, Apple’s iPhone.
  • Combining Samsung Mail and other Android clients, opens on Android account for 8% of market share, or #4 in our top ten list.

Does your email look great on Samsung phones?

With 5% of email client market share, Samsung Mail is one of the most popular mobile email clients. Preview your email in Samsung Mail and other popular email clients and devices to test, troubleshoot, and fix rendering errors before you send with Litmus.

Learn more →


While mobile is still the most popular reading environment for email, it lost market share to webmail in 2017. The share of emails opened on desktop clients remained virtually unchanged.


With a drop of 5 percentage points, Apple’s iPhone lost a significant portion of market share in 2017. However, it’s still #1 in our list of most popular email clients, with 28% of all emails being opened on an iPhone.

  • iPhone: dropped to 28%
  • iPad: dropped to 11%
  • Android: dropped to 8% (includes Samsung Mail opens)

What caused the drop in Apple market share?
Apple started allowing users to delete pre-installed apps, including the Mail app, with the release of iOS 10 in September 2016. This may have contributed to the drop in iPhone and iPad opens.


Webmail increased overall this year, growing from 32% to 36% of all email opens. This growth was largely driven by increased activity from Gmail.

  • Gmail: Increased to 26%
  • dropped to 4%
  • Yahoo! Mail: remained at 2%

Having grown by 7 percentage points over the past year, Gmail continues to strengthen its position as the most popular webmail provider.

Gmail webmail or Gmail mobile?

Gmail automatically downloads and caches images, which limits the ability to detect if a Gmail open happens online in a web browser or through a mobile app. As a result, Gmail webmail and mobile opens are reported together.


Desktop opens remained steady this year, beginning and ending the year at 17%. Apple Mail continues to be the most popular desktop email client.

  • Apple Mail: Increased to 7%
  • Outlook: Increased to 6%
  • Windows Live Mail: remained at 1%

Is Outlook back on the rise?

Outlook opens showed continuous growth throughout 2017, before taking a dip in December. Outlook 2016 has replaced Outlook 2010 as the most popular Outlook version, with 37% of all emails opened on an Outlook desktop client now being opened on Outlook 2016.

Most popular Outlook versions
As a percentage of all Outlook opens

  1. Outlook 2016 — 38%
  2. Outlook 2010 — 23%
  3. Outlook 2013 — 21%
  4. Outlook 2007 — 10%
  5. Outlook 2000-2003 — 7%


About 3% of all emails are viewed in the web version. Even with improving rendering support across email clients, don’t cut the view online link just yet. It’s still a popular alternative for subscribers who are having trouble viewing your email in their email client.

Your Subscriber Base Isn’t the Average

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

Learn more →


Month-by-month highlights and email client news from 2017

Mobile began the year with 51% of all email opens, while webmail began the year at 32% and desktop at 17%.

New bug in and Office 365: Gaps appear after un-linked images..

The Gmail App on Android introduces native payments support via Google Wallet, allowing its users to send and request money via email.

Outlook finally fixed a notorious bug that turned smiley faces into the letter “J.”

Windows 10 Mail introduces support for animated GIFs. Previously, Windows 10 Mail would show only the first frame of an animated GIF, which appeared as a static image.

August reveals an updated user interface and new features—none of which impact how the client renders HTML emails.

Mobile email opens drop below 50% of email client market share.

Microsoft announces plans to bring consistent media query support back to Outlook iOS and Android apps.

Apple launches a series of new iPhones as well as the latest version of its operating system, iOS 11.

AOL announces the retirement of the AOL Alto Mail app.

Gmail for iOS started to automatically replace copyright and trademark symbols with their emoji equivalent. The bug was fixed before the end of November.

Inbox by Gmail launches unsubscribe recommendations, reminding users to unsubscribe from emails they haven’t engaged with in a while.

*Where did we get all this data? Our 2017 market share data is derived from over 15 billion opens collected worldwide with Litmus Email Analytics between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017. It highlights worldwide trends across all industries and verticals. Some email clients may be over- or under-represented due to image blocking.

The Litmus Email Creative Platform accelerates your business with advanced email tools that empower your team to deliver the best brand experience and get the best results.