Android Smokes iPhone In Web Speed, Researchers Say

android eating macbook

Photo: laihiu via Flickr

A new study came out this morning claiming that Android phones load Web pages more quickly than Apple’s iPhone.Apple and others quickly jumped all over the study because of a pretty obvious flaw. Blaze Software used its own embedded viewer based on Safari, rather than the actual Safari browser that ships with the iPhone. That means the study didn’t account for JavaScript performance improvements that Apple shipped in Safari with iOS 4.3 last week. Whoops.

But as Blaze notes, JavaScript only accounts for about 15% of total load time on Android.

The study, which measured load times on more than 45,000 pages, showed that Android loads pages a whopping 52% faster — average times were 2.1 seconds for Android versus 3.3 seconds for Apple.

So even if the JavaScript acceleration in Safari is taken into account, Blaze thinks Android would still win.

The study had some other interesting points as well:

  • Wi-Fi load times were only a half second faster than 3G load times on the iPhone.
  • On the iPhone, pages that are optimised for mobile browsers load a lot faster than regular Web pages — 2.1 seconds versus 3.5 seconds. But on Android, there’s not much of a difference — 2.0 seconds versus 2.1 seconds.

Update: Jon Gruber points out that the new JavaScript engine isn’t the only difference in the new Safari: it also has better caching (meaning it can store pages and reload them more quickly) and asynchronous multithreading (which sounds fancy but basically means that the browser can use all the cores on the iPhones processor at the same time to render pages).

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