What exactly is email client market share and why is it important?
Litmus has reported on email client market share over the years to help email marketers everywhere understand monthly market trends for email clients, like Gmail, Apple Mail, and more. Knowing these movements empowers marketers to make better decisions when it comes to strategy and prioritization for design, coding, and overall email program focus.
Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection (MPP) went into effect on September 20, 2021, impacting Apple Mail users on iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey devices, regardless of email services.
Marketers will no longer be able to see reliable open rates, open times, geolocation, or device usage for users who opt into MPP, impacting the way Apple market share is analyzed. As a result, we have broken market share information into two sections: Post- and pre-MPP launch.
January 2024 Email Client Market Share
Calculated from over 1.3 billion opens in Litmus Email Analytics in January 2024. Data and trends from post-Apple MPP launch.
Apple market share includes email client usage for the following:
Apple Mail Privacy Protection – 54.06%, Apple Mail – 0.73%, Apple iPhone – 0.61%, Apple iPad – 0.07%*
*Current month breakdown.
Historic Market Share Information
This is a snapshot view of stats pre-MPP, calculated from over 13 billion opens in Litmus Email Analytics from August 2020 to August 2021
- Apple iPhone
- Apple Mail
- Yahoo Mail
- Google Android
- Apple iPad
- Samsung Mail
- Windows Live Mail
Apple iPhone was ranked #1 in email market share when stats were recorded in August 2021.
Apple iPhone represents the native “Mail” application that ships with the iPhone and iPod Touch mobile devices. Like its desktop counterpart, it is a first-class email client with excellent rendering capabilities. The Mail application on iOS devices has similar capabilities as the desktop version of Mail and has out-of-the-box support for popular email domains—including Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Outlook.com, AOL Mail, and Microsoft’s Exchange server. There are ongoing changes to how email metrics will be reported from Apple iPhone.
Gmail was ranked #2 in email market share when stats were recorded in August 2021.
Gmail is Google’s free email service. The advertising-supported service is similar to offerings from Yahoo, AOL, and Microsoft. Users commonly access Gmail as secure webmail, although clients exist for popular mobile platforms like iOS and Android. Users can also access their mail via both the POP3 and IMAP4 protocols for use in the email client of their choice. One common rendering issue is off-brand, blue links.
Apple Mail was ranked #3 in email market share when stats were recorded in August 2021.
Apple Mail (or Mail.app) is the default email client native to Apple’s popular desktop and laptop operating system, macOS. It provides some of the best support for rendering emails—all in a well-designed and user-friendly package. Mail supports the SMTP, POP3, and IMAP protocols and is commonly used with popular email platforms like Yahoo Mail, AOL Mail, Gmail, and Exchange.
Outlook was ranked #4 in email market share when stats were recorded in August 2021.
Microsoft Outlook is often the de facto email client for most businesses. Microsoft changed the rendering engine used to display emails from Internet Explorer to Microsoft Word with the release of Outlook 2007—leading to a regression in what HTML and CSS could be used in email campaigns. This change is a source of frustration for email designers, as it lacks support for many widely used HTML tags and CSS properties, so testing email campaigns for this client is extremely important. Litmus currently tests for the most popular versions, which consists of 13 separate versions of Outlook.
Yahoo Mail was ranked #5 in email market share when stats were recorded in August 2021.
Yahoo Mail is a web and cloud-based email client that can be utilized on a variety of devices. Based on research we conducted, Yahoo Mail updates its rendering engine roughly every four days. Yahoo Mail Android users are likely to see updates more often than Apple users. Because of these frequent updates, we recommend testing each email in a tool like Litmus Test.
Google Android was ranked #6 in email market share when stats were recorded in August 2021.
Google Android, a mobile device by Google, comes it at number sixe. With mobile coming back strong as device where subscribers are consuming email, a clean rendering in the inbox is more important than ever. In research, we saw that the Gmail mobile app sent nearly three times as many updates for Android devices as they did for Apple devices during the same time. With 25 updates in five months, the inner workings of an Android user’s Gmail app changes every six days, so previewing all emails with a tool like Litmus Test is crucial.
Apple iPad was ranked #7 in email market share when stats were recorded in August 2021.
Apple iPad represents the native “Mail” application that ships with all iPad devices. With Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection going into effect, it’s more important than ever to make sure rendering across all email clients is pixel perfect. Preview & QA all your emails with a tool like Litmus Test.
Outlook.com was ranked #8 in email market share when stats were recorded in August 2021.
Outlook.com is the latest incarnation of Microsoft’s long-lived webmail service. Deliverability for it is based on your sender reputation. The Smart Network Data Services (SNDS) gives you the data you need to understand and improve your reputation. Tools like Litmus Spam Testing can also shed light on spam triggers before you send—so you can protect your reputation.
Samsung Mail was ranked #9 in email market share when stats were recorded in August 2021.
Samsung mail is the native email application on Samsung Android devices. It has a bit of a reputation with some rendering quirks. With mobile coming back strong as a device where subscribers consume email, it’s more important than ever to optimize their experience. Making sure emails render beautifully before you hit the send button with tools like Litmus Test is a way to do this.
Windows Live Mail was ranked #10 in email market share when stats were recorded in August 2021.
Windows Live Mail, part of the Windows Essentials suite available on Windows 7 and newer, is the mail application that replaced Outlook Express. It still has a strong following, despite the growth of mobile and webmail clients. However, coding background images could be an issue, so make sure to test every email you send with a tool like Litmus Test.
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