Forms of email existed since way back in the mid 1800s, when the telegraph was invented and people could send messages to each other over the air. True email, as we know it, wasn’t invented by a single person but came into use in the 1970s, when it was popularized by the ARPANET system, which allowed for a network of users that could contact one another.
In the 40 years following the first signs of true email, the idea caught on like wildfire and became a new instant form of communication. Today, many of us are able to send emails from wherever we are located, thanks to a range of mobile devices.
Email continues to grow in popularity on mobile devices – especially on the iPad, says a report from Return Path. Email opened on mobile devices increased 34 percent from April 2011 to September 2011. This includes email within a native email client, on a web browser, or within an email app.
When the iPad 2 was introduced in March of 2011, email views on the iPad platform increased by 12% from March to April, and continued to rise for months thereafter. From April 2011 to September 2011, email views on the iPad increased by a total of 73 percent, and are only expected to grow even further as Apple and other app developers make even better email software for use on tablets.
An increase in mobile email usage does correlate with a declining use of Webmail and desktop email programs, which fell 11 percent and 9 percent, respectively during the months of the study. As a whole though, mobile email is the smallest segment of email usage, with 23 percent of opens. Webmail, with 44 percent, and desktop clients, with 33 percent, are still on top.
Users tend to gravitate towards their desktop computers for email usage during the week (presumably while in front of a computer at work), and mobile usage spies during the weekend. Monday is a popular day for desktop email, and the worst day of the week for mobile email.
“Email is more relevant today than ever before as consumption continues to grow on more platforms,” stated Matt Blumberg, CEO of Return Path. “Email is everywhere you want your message to be.”
As an avid iPhone and iPad user, I can attest to using both devices to check my email once in awhile, especially while out and away from my computer. My laptop still reigns supreme, however, when I need to type a long message. How often are you using email on your mobile devices? Do you use a mobile device alone, or do you also check email on a desktop or laptop computer? Let us know in the comments.