Traditional PCs were used at historically low rates last quarter to open emails, another sign that a longtime task of those notebooks and desktops has been hijacked by mobile devices, an email-centric firm said today.
U.S. consumers used a traditional personal computer to open only about a third of all the spam email they received, with the task shifting more to mobile, a marketing vendor reported.
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According to Movable Ink, which bills itself as an email marketing technology vendor, Americans opened just 35 percent of "brand marketing messages" they received in the last three months of 2013 on a personal computer. That was a record low in Moveable Ink's tracking, down from 39 percent the previous quarter.
Movable Ink's "brand marketing messages" is a euphemism for what most dub "spam," whether opt-in promotions or unsolicited junk.
As PCs, a category that included both Windows- and OS X-powered machines, declined in usage for the job, mobile devices took up the slack.
Almost two-thirds of all marketing emails (65 percent) were opened on smartphones and tablets in 2013's final quarter, up from 61 percent the quarter before, said Movable Ink. Smartphones accounted for 48 percent and tablets the remaining 17 percent.
Among mobile device operating systems, Apple's iOS was the clear leader; over 50 percent of all email was opened on an iPhone or iPad, with the breakdown between them better than 2-to-1 in the iPhone's favor.
Android was a distant second, opening about 14 percent of the spam, an increase, Movable Ink said, from 10 percent in 2013's third quarter. Like iOS, Android leaned heavily toward smartphones, but even more so: While Android-powered smartphones accounted for 12.5 percent of the total, Android tablets represented just 1.9 percent.
Microsoft's Windows Phone, Amazon's forked-Android Kindle, and BlackBerry were almost insignificant at 0.2, 0.1 and 0.02 percent, respectively.
Movable Ink's data doesn't hint at market share or the installed base of Android or iOS, statistics many fixate on, but like the Web usage metrics provided by vendors such as StatCounter and Net Applications, points out the swing toward mobile for common, even mundane chores that were once the purview of PCs.
"Consumers are rapidly moving from desktops to mobile devices when it comes to opening and interacting with brand marketing emails," Movable Ink said in a short report (download PDF) issued Wednesday. "Smartphones and tablets aren't just dominating over desktops, but have shown consistent quarter-over-quarter growth."