Mobile Mail Call

For the first time ever, last December more Americans opened new emails on a mobile device than on a traditional computer:

New data from the researcher indicates that 51% of email opens occurred on a mobile device during December 2013, the first time Return Path has seen mobile crossing the majority threshold. Christmas Day saw the highest share of email opens (62%) for the period; perhaps not too coincidentally, IBM recently reported that mobile accounted for a remarkable 48% of online shopping traffic that day.


This has been true for me for a few years already, at least for important things. I use iCloud and my desktop together to act as an email server, and keep stuff that can wait mostly off of my mobile devices.

Work, family, and VP comments all stay in my main inbox, which shows up on my phone and tablet immediately. Everything else — social media alerts, press releases, shopping offers, etc — get sorted into the appropriate folders. I’n able to access those folder via mobile, but I’d have to make an effort. And the whole point of sorting out your second- and third-tier emails is that you don’t want to have to make any effort until you’re sitting down somewhere and have a few extra minutes.

That’s a system which works for me, and I’ll take my desktop out of the sorting loop just as soon as iCloud’s handling rules are made powerful enough.

But iCloud’s limitations don’t seem to be hurting iOS very much where it counts the most for retailers:

IBM also noted that iOS devices drove more than twice as much shopping traffic as Android devices on Christmas Day (32.6% vs. 14.8%), and the Return Path data shows that the OS mismatch was even more glaring on the email front. On Christmas Day, Return Path’s data indicates that fully 86% of mobile email opens occurred on an iPhone (58%) or iPad (28%).


Every time I mention one of these data points indicating that the vast majority of Android owners aren’t using their smartphones as smartphones, some smart commenters always reminds me that its just one data point.

But I’ve never once seen a single data point indicating anything else.


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