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Email Client Popularity: June 2009

DAVID GREINER - JUL 29, 2009

We just published the latest quarterly results for worldwide email client usage. If you weren’t already aware, we provide a handy report on exactly which email clients your subscribers are using for every campaign you send. We also share this data in a quarterly report showing interesting trends in worldwide email client usage.

The latest stats are the result of analyzing the email client usage of more than 300 million people since the start of the year. Here’s a quick summary of the 10 most popular email clients as of June 2009.

Head over to the report to see the latest figures, or stick around for a quick discussion of some of the highlights.

iPhone now more popular than Gmail

It continues to blow us away just how quickly the iPhone is moving mobile email forward. The iPhone now caters for 5.78% of the email client market, breezing past Gmail to become the 5th most popular email client in the world.

Put another way, iPhone now has more of the email client market than AOL, Lotus Notes, Thunderbird and Entourage combined. That’s pretty incredible considering it’s a mobile device and a relative newcomer compared to the rest of the market.

Thanks to their software update approach within iTunes, iPhone users are also prolific updaters. iPhone OS 1.0 and 2.0 are amongst the fastest shrinking email clients, while iPhone OS 3.0 is by far the fastest growing email client version on the market. We’re hoping to add iPhone support to our email testing suite soon.

It’s also worth noting that our report looks at which email clients are being used to render an email, not necessarily what service powers that email address. As I noted in the last email usage report, our Gmail figures don’t take into account those Gmail users viewing their email in another email client using POP or IMAP access. I regularly check my Gmail account via my iPhone, and I’m clearly not alone.

Webmail providers stagnant

We figured it was a safe assumption that more and more people would be moving from traditional desktop email clients to web-based email clients. While it’s certainly clear many of us are shifting to reading our emails on a mobile device, the same can’t be said for web-based email clients. The market share for both Yahoo! Mail and Hotmail has more or less plateaued over the last six months.

Yahoo! Mail’s share has fallen slightly by 0.03% since January, and Hotmail’s has grown a mere 0.14%. Gmail has grown 0.09% in the same period.

Outlook market share is shrinking

While Outlook 2007 holds its spot as the fourth fastest growing email client on the market, older versions are declining at a faster rate. Over the last 6 months, Outlook 2007 has taken an additional 1.57% of the market. In the same time frame, Outlook 2000 and 2003 have given up 2.28% of the market, making an overall loss of 0.71%.

For many reasons, it will be very interesting to watch how fast Outlook 2010 is adopted when it’s released to the public some time next year.

As always, these numbers are interesting guides on where your email design priorities lay, but we still see huge variations in usage from list to list. We recommend using the personalized email client reports provided for each campaign you send to make sure you’re focusing on the email clients that count.

We’re currently working on a big update to our CSS in Email Guide, which will include a number of key mobile email clients and make it easier to focus on the more popular email clients.

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