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Aaron Beach, senior data scientist at SendGrid, shares his insights on the company’s email usage stats across Europe

Since the very first corporate email was shared over 33 years ago, we’ve seen it become the de facto business communications tool of the modern era. Mobile has become the dominant platform for sending and receiving email, and relative email usage on different mobile platforms can tell us a lot about the performance of those platforms on the market generally.

While email opens and clicks on Apple devices have remained stagnant between 2014 and 2015, Android email interactions have soared across the EU: this gives us interesting insight into which ecosystem is on top in this highly competitive market. Whilst Apple devices remain the most popular business communications platform, we’ve seen Android steadily catch up in our year-on-year data for all device platform clicks. Apple will have some work to do to maintain their dominant position.

First a word on the data. Our data was collected over two ten-day periods in 2014 and 2015, and spans ten billion emails sent across SendGrid’s database of over 200,000 companies.

So what have we learnt so far?

The EU moves away from email on Apple devices…

In the UK, the iPhone still make up almost a quarter (25%) of email opens and clicks, but this is an 8% decrease from iPhone email traffic in 2014. Across Europe the iPhone’s email performance was decidedly mixed, with a rather disappointing 8% rise overall. An interesting mix of countries appeared to be moving away from the iPhone, including Slovakia (-38%), Luxembourg (-21%) and the Netherlands (-14%).

The iPad fared worse, with a 15% year-on-year decline across the EU. The Czech Republic, Latvia and Greece all stood out, with iPad email engagements falling by about 50% from 2014 to 2015.

Despite the poor performance of the iPhone, iPad email usage in the UK actually increased, rising by 5% year on year. Overall, iPhone and iPad email use growth in Europe was relatively flat, with an average growth of only 1%.


…while Android email usage explodes

In the UK, Android open and click rates grew year-on-year by 23%, which, compared to iPhone’s 8% decrease over the same period, is impressive. But the grass was greener outside the UK for Android, with very significant year-on-year growth being recorded in Bulgaria (+364%), Poland (+309%) and Luxembourg (+178%).

Of the 28 states that make up the EU, 22 of them saw a growing number of emails being opened and clicked on Android devices. Email opens and clicks on Android devices rose by an average of 68% across the EU, significantly overtaking Apple.

iPhone is most popular in Croatia

It wasn’t all bad news for iPhone: almost three quarters (70%) of SendGrid-delivered email opens and clicks happened on an iPhone in 2015, a share that as much higher than other European countries. Denmark also came out in favour of the iPhone, with a 37% share of email usage in 2015.

BlackBerry: making a comeback?

The original email-enabled mobile phone made a comeback in 2015, with 71% growth in the UK year-on-year. This reflected a wider trend across Europe, where BlackBerry email usage rose in all but 4 of the 28 EU member states. BlackBerry experienced exceptional growth in Poland (+238%) and Croatia (+218%), with growth also occurring in Sweden (+59%), Italy (+32%), Belgium (+19%), the Netherlands (+19%) and Spain (+11%). BlackBerry fared worse in Austria, where usage fell by 60%.

Windows: still king

Despite all the growth in mobile email over the past few years, when it comes to email, Windows is still king. In 2015 Windows desktop was the largest platform for email opens and clicks in all EU states except for 5 (Ireland, Denmark, Luxembourg, Malta and Croatia). Microsoft shouldn’t be too complacent however; in those 5 countries it was either iPhone or Mac that was the dominant platform for email.

Europe is one of SendGrid’s fastest growing destinations, with growth in European markets coming in at between 2 and 5 times the rate observed in the US. Our rates of change are normalised to take this growth into account, leaving us with a more accurate picture of email opens and clicks across Europe.