By Tom Sather @ReturnPath 12/12/12
We released our mobile email study yesterday showing that mobile devices, specifically smartphones and tablets, are now the primary way we open emails. While looking at the data, there were some things that stood out.
1. iPhone users were quick to adopt iOS 6.
iPhone users adopted iOS 6 in less than a month and iOS 6 represents 66% of all iOS devices we saw people opening email on. Google’s Android users have adopted newer operating systems at a much slower pace. Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich was released in October of 2011 and only powers 27.5% of all Android devices. Gingerbread, released in 2010, is used on 56% of all Android devices.
One notable change to email in iOS 6 is VIP Mail which allows users to set specific email addresses as VIP. This feature immediately notifies the user when an email is received from a VIP contact, helping people unchain themselves from constantly checking their inbox (presumably because they are afraid of missing something important). Another fun fact from our friends at Marketing Sherpa: people check their phones 150 times a day and I would bet they nearly always check their inbox each time.
2. People opening email on the iPod Touch has been declining steadily the past year.
Email Opens on iPod Touch, Oct. 2011 – Oct. 2012
While the overall number of opens on the iPod Touch was very low compared to the iPhone or iPad, the open rate for this mobile device has been trending downward for the past year. I always wondered if people were using the iPod Touch as an iPhone without the Phone, like check email, use apps, etc., but it may seem like they’re using it to just listen to music, or perhaps they have an iPad for that. Whatever it is, they’re not using it to open emails, and I predict the iPad Mini will likely further erode consumption of email on the iPod Touch.
3. Apple iOS 7 spotting?
When looking at email opens, we saw iOS 6 being used to open emails in June 2012, and it was released on September 19th. We saw a handful of opens coming from iOS 7 in October. While it could just be a miscategorization, it’s something I’ll keep an eye on in the coming months. (continue @ReturnPath)