IDC Projects Email Mailboxes to Increase to 1.2 Billion Worldwide by 2005

FRAMINGHAM, MA – SEPTEMBER 17, 2001 – Email usage is on the rise. According to IDC, the number of worldwide email mailboxes is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 138%, from 505 million in 2000 to 1.2 billion in 2005. The global market intelligence and advisory firm holds three factors responsible for this increase: Web services, wireless access, and workers without email.


Despite a shakeout among free Web email providers, IDC believes the remaining leaders will see significant growth in mailboxes tied to Web sites. "Wireless access through email devices and network services will offer new ways for email users to remain connected longer while on the move," said Mark Levitt, research director for IDC’s Collaborative Computing program. "Workers such as deskless and mobile workers whose access to email has not come easy will benefit from customized email software, devices, and hosted services."

According to IDC, the number of person-to-person emails sent on an average day is expected to exceed 36 billion worldwide in 2005. The growing effect of the Web on email is evident in widening usage of Web browsers as the primary method for accessing email – expected to surpass 50% for all email mailboxes worldwide in 2003.

"Email usage is growing despite challenges from market substitutes like instant messaging and virtual workspaces that require a change in the way people work and often fall short of matching email’s ease of use and global reach," said Robert Mahowald, senior analyst for IDC’s Collaborative Computing program. "In addition to the three Ws, email usage will be driven by better integration between email and other business applications and processes that will make email more accessible and therefore more valuable to a broader audience."

IDC’s third annual Email Usage Forecast and Analysis, 2001-2005 (IDC #25335) provides key statistics for the email market that will help companies supplying email-related solutions and companies using email understand the various ways that email usage is growing. This recently released report features a 10-year market view (1995-2005) of email mailboxes, users, volumes, and primary access methods for North America and worldwide. It also features forecasts of email mailboxes, users, and volumes for the following regions: Western Europe, Asia/Pacific, and the rest of the world.

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About IDC

IDC delivers dependable, high-impact insights and advice on the future of ebusiness, the Internet, and technology to help organizations make sound business decisions. IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends and analyzes business strategies, technologies, and vendors, using a combination of rigorous primary research and in-depth competitive analysis. IDC provides global research with local content through more than 700 analysts in 43 countries worldwide. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

IDC is a division of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company.


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