With the explosion of smartphones and tablets on the market, it comes as no surprise that more individuals are using these devices to keep track of their email and tasks.  What is surprising is that it’s starting to completely overtake the use of their desktop computer for this function.  How long before users stop launching Outlook on their PC and use their iPhone instead?  And how will this affect companies that look unfavorably on “Bring Your Own Device” in the workplace?

Litmus.com has released this infographic detailing the decline of desktop email use and the strong increase of mobile use.  From June 2011 till April 2012 desktop use for email dropped from 53% to 33%, where mobile use grew from 18% to 36%, overtaking desktop usage.  Web mail clients, such as Yahoo or Gmail, stayed about the same, hovering around 30%.

Leading the mobile charge is the iPhone.  Of all the mobile opens, 57% were done by iPhones, 22% were from iPads, and 20% were Android devices.  Yahoo still holds the majority of webmail users at 48% and Hotmail has a 29% share.  Shockingly Gmail, Google’s email client, only has about 19% of the market, and the long forgotten AOL has trailed far behind with only 4% still using the webmail service.  The majority of Outlook users, 55% to be exact, still use Outlook 2003 and only 25% use 2007 and 20% use 2010.  Perhaps businesses who are unwilling to upgrade their Outlook clients to newer versions are part of the reason behind mobile taking over.

So what does this mean for businesses that don’t support BYOD?  Well, it means employees might just pass them up for the next best thing.  As I wrote in a previous blog, 50% of workers now consider an employer’s technology tools when deciding if they should work there.  This includes whether or not the company allows BYOD, and what restrictions they place on user devices.  If an employee prefers working off their own device, whether it is an iPad, iPhone, or Android device, they may be picky when it comes to what they are allowed to work on in the office.  ITPro, in an interview with Simon Placks, director of Ernst & Young’s Fraud Investigation and Dispute Service Division, tackles this very issue.  Placks stated, “…if there is one company that allows you to use Facebook at work, for example, or bring in your own device, that becomes a more attractive employer.”

So if you use Outlook on your desktop, you are now a minority.  Mobile devices are replacing desktops are the preferred email opener, so be careful when you set policies regarding personal devices at work, or you might just have a mutiny on your hands.