Study claims Android browsing faster than iPhone, but Apple disagrees | Mobile Devices | Mobile Entertainment

Study claims Android browsing faster than iPhone, but Apple disagrees

Study claims Android browsing faster than iPhone, but Apple disagrees
Stuart Dredge

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Devices / iPhone / March 18th 2011 at 11:31AM

Is Android's web browser really 52% faster than iPhone's Safari? Blaze's study has already sparked controversy.

Web measurements firm Blaze has published a study that claimed to show Android's web browser is 52% faster than iPhone's, but the results have been swiftly challenged by Apple.

Blaze loaded up 45,000 pages in both browsers and timed the results. "We found that Android’s browser is faster. Not just a little faster, but a whopping 52% faster," explains the company. "Android’s Chrome beat iPhone’s Safari by loading 84% of the websites faster, meaning Safari won the race only 16% of the time. While we expected to see one of the browsers come out on top, we didn’t expect this gap."

Blaze used an iPhone 4 and Samsung Nexus S for the study, using its own custom apps to test the browsing speeds. But this is what has sparked the controversy, with Apple claiming that the tests did not reflect the true speed of the latest version of the iOS Safari browser.

"Their testing is flawed because they didn’t actually test the Safari web browser on the iPhone," Apple spokesperson Natalie Kerris tells The Loop.

"Instead they only tested their own proprietary app which uses an embedded web viewer that doesn’t take advantage of Safari’s web performance optimizations. Despite this fundamental testing flaw, they still only found an average of a second difference in loading web pages."

Safari in iOS 4.3 has a new JavaScript engine - Nitro - which has been touted as providing a speed boost for surfing on iOS devices. Kerris' comments confirm that the new features are not available to apps with embedded browsing functions.

Blaze has since published an update, saying that "Given the information that various optimizations are not included in the embedded browser, it’s quite possible the iPhone page loads could be faster. We stand behind the statement that Android’s embedded browser is faster than iPhone’s. We hope Apple will help us enable those optimizations and repeat the measurement. Until then, for all we know the missing optimizations may not make a big impact."

So which device is faster? In short, no one knows. But if anyone has a stopwatch to hand to load up those 45,000 web pages in Safari and time them manually...