Do the devices and operating systems we use influence or impact our relationships with email?
A new study from email marketing technology provider Movable Ink found that during the last quarter, nearly 40 percent of emails were opened on a desktop, while 50 percent were opened on an Apple smartphone or tablet, and just 10 percent were opened on an Android smartphone or tablet.
Users of iPads, it went on, are significantly more inclined to open "brand emails" than users of Android tablets (14 percent versus 1 percent), and iPhone owners are more likely to open a brand email than users of any other devices.
During the quarter, the number of emails opened on tablets climbed from 14 percent to 15—a stat Movable Ink found compelling.
"This quarter's report shows that tablets are gaining momentum, quickly becoming a primary driver of email marketing conversions," Moveable Ink CEO Vivek Sharma said in an Oct. 30 statement.
"This should compel marketers to be innovative with their email marketing campaigns, with a strong focus on engaging mobile users," he continued. "This is a huge opportunity to provide these users with offers that are as relevant as possible to where they are and what device they are using."
The report notes that the number of total emails opened on Android tablets has grown 27 percent quarter-on-quarter (though this figure looks far less impressive when broken down to 0.9 percent of all emails, versus the 0.7 percent of the second quarter).
Users of iPhones, however, are the No. 1 openers of email overall; Apple's phones open 36 percent of all email, according to the report. However, users of Android devices spend more time viewing each email.
Among users of Android-running phones, Movable Ink found, 51 percent spent more than 15 seconds on the average email. The other 49 percent were almost perfectly split between those who spent 0 to 3 seconds reading and those who spent 3 to 15 seconds doing so.
By contrast, only 40 percent of iPhone users spent more than 15 seconds looking at an email, while almost just as many (37 percent) spent 0 to 3 seconds.
iPad users spent the least time per email of all—41 percent spent 0 to 3 seconds, 30 percent spent more than 15 seconds, and 29 percent were in the mid, 3- to 15-second range.
Desktop users, interestingly, had per-email times closest in line with iPhone users. Just over 35 percent spent more than 15 seconds, 30 percent spent 3 to 15 seconds, and 35 percent spent 0 to 3.
The study also found U.S. consumer habits to vary by region. On the East Coast, the trend favors smartphones, while in the West—a huge swath of the middle and left side of the country, minus California—desktops lead, according to the report.
The state that opens the most emails by smartphone was Texas, followed by Mississippi and Illinois, while the folks most likely to sit down to a desktop for email viewing are in Maine, followed by Vermont and Oregon.
Movable Ink's findings dovetail interestingly with those of a new Netbiscuits Web Trends report, which found that, given the growing sizes of smartphone displays, "there is no longer a clear, discernible 'smartphone' or 'tablet' market."
"Now is the time, continued Netbiscuits Chief Operating Officer and Chief Marketing Officer Daniel Weisbeck, "for brands to really wake up and execute effective adaptive mobile Web strategies that work on every device for every one of their customers."