A recent study has found that more and more people are reading their email on their smartphones and other mobile devices — just another sign of the increasing role these devices are playing, and that the times they are a-changin’.
The study was conducted by Return Path, a company that analyzes data about email use. It found that the use of mobile email has grown by 81% (from when to when is somewhat ambivalent in Return Path’s data, however it appears to be from October 2010 to March 2011). Webmail still rules the day, dominating 48% of the pie chart of how people check their email. Mobile takes 16% of the market, and the other 36% belongs to desktop mail clients like Outlook and Apple Mail.
Return Path’s figures indicate that Mobile’s growth has been Webmail’s loss, as Webmail dropped approximately six percentage points over the same period mobile shot from 9% to 16% (Oct, 2010 – May, 2011).
Reading Email Eight Days A Week
An additional insight from the study came from weekly trends of the platforms used to read email. Webmail is for weekenders, apparently, and it is read on average 2% more Fri-Sun than during the rest of the week.
Mobile’s use through the week cannot be simply explained, as email read on mobile devices shoots up on Thursday, reaching a peak on Saturday of 1% above its weekly average. The period of Monday through Wednesday is when mobile is used the least.
Mobile’s increase can almost certainly be attributed to record high smartphone sales and the recent proliferation of tablet computers.