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This article was published on March 17, 2011

Browsing on Android 52% faster than iPhone, report finds

Browsing on Android 52% faster than iPhone, report finds
Martin Bryant
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Martin Bryant

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Martin Bryant is founder of Big Revolution, where he helps tech companies refine their proposition and positioning, and develops high-qualit Martin Bryant is founder of Big Revolution, where he helps tech companies refine their proposition and positioning, and develops high-quality, compelling content for them. He previously served in several roles at TNW, including Editor-in-Chief. He left the company in April 2016 for pastures new.

If you’re torn between choosing an iPhone or Android device, here’s yet another metric to take into account. According to findings released today, Android’s browser averages a 52% speed advantage in loading pages over the iPhone.

Website speed optimisation firm Blaze conducted the tests which also found that Android finished loading a Web page faster on 84% of Fortune 1000 company websites.

Meanwhile, despite Steve Jobs recently trumpeting iOS 4.3’s greatly improved Javascript processing speed and similar enhancements in Android 2.3, Blaze’s report claims that Javascript speed makes no measurable improvement on the actual page load times of the sites tested.

Ontario-based Blaze says that it ran 43,000 test to reach its conclusions. Real phones were used, connecting to real websites and measured using custom-built agents designed to measure page load speed. “Past studies have often used fabricated benchmark sites or manual measurements on a small number of sites,” the company said.

Blaze’s CTO and co-founder Guy Podjarny tells us that it appears as if Android is smarter at handling network connections, while its browser loads page elements in an order that optimises load speed. iOS, on the other hand, appeared to load pages in a straightforward but suboptimal fashion. Podjarny said that the company would be investigating the reasons behind Android’s advantage in greater depth soon.

We’re only talking about a second or so’s difference in average loading times, so it’s not like iOS drags its heels significantly. However, iOS and Android tablets use the same browsers as their mobile counterparts and users expect them to deliver a full desktop Web experience. If the speed difference reflected in this report carries through to Android’s tablet-optimised Honeycomb version, it could be worth keeping this report in mind when you weigh up the choice between an iPad 2 or one of its Android rivals.

UPDATE: For an alternative take, The Loop has called Blaze’s methodology for this study into question.

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