45,000 Browser Tests Say Android Browser More Than 50% Faster Than iOS’s Safari

Not that we didn’t already know it, but Ottawa-bred Blaze Software has issued a press release revealing results of extensive browser tests they carried out on Safari for iOS and Android’s stock browser. (To be specific, the latest Android handsets running 2.2 and 2.3 were used on our side, while iOS tests were carried out on iPhone 4 handsets running 4.2 and 4.3.)

1,000 different websites were tested with several tests, totaling 45,000 separate tests – I’d say that makes for some pretty accurate results when all is said and done. As for those results, Android proved to load pages 52% faster than iOS on average. Again, not really surprising as we know the folks at Google are always aiming toward improving the performance of their stock browser. We first saw Android run circles around iOS in a series of tech demos at Google I/O last year.

Blaze’s CTO Guy Podjarnyin was surprised, though. “We were very surprised by the results”, said Guy Podjarny, Blaze CTO and Co-Founder. “We assumed that it would be [a] closer race and that the latest JavaScript speed improvements would have a more material impact on performance. The fact that Android beat iPhone by such a large margin was not expected”.

It’s something we’ve known for a long time, Guy, but now you know. Better late than never, right? Read on for full press details.

iPhone vs. Android – 45,000 Tests Prove Whose Browser is Faster

Ottawa, ON, March 17, 2011 – Blaze Software Inc released today the largest ever research study of smart phone browser performance. The purpose of the study was to determine once and for all which of the two leading smart phone vendors has the fastest browser.

Mobile Web browser usage is exploding. Emarketer estimates that 44.1% of US citizens will leverage mobile Internet by 2014. To capture market interest in mobile browsing, smart phone vendors have been aggressively touting the speed improvements in their products. However, due to the lack of mobile measurement tools, it has been difficult to measure which smart phone actually has the faster browser.

After taking over 45,000 measurements on the latest iPhone and Android devices, the study found that Android was 52% faster than iPhone on average. Android finished loading a Web page faster on 84% of the 1000 Websites tested. The study also found that the despite significant JavaScript performance gains in the latest Apple iOS 4.3 release and Google Android 2.3 releases, these improvement made no measurable improvement on the actual page load times of the sites tested.

“We were very surprised by the results”, said Guy Podjarny, Blaze CTO and Co-Founder. “We assumed that it would be closer race and that the latest JavaScript speed improvements would have a more material impact on performance. The fact that Android beat iPhone by such a large margin was not expected”.

What makes this study unique is the size of the study and the fact that it used real phones on real world websites to make the measurements. Past studies have often used fabricated benchmark sites or manual measurements on a small number of sites. This study was made possible through custom apps developed to measure page load time on mobile devices. These apps run on the actual devices, load a page on demand, and measure how long it took. These agents are available as a free service to measure any site with the Blaze Mobitest Tool.

Detailed blog post on the Blaze Mobile Measurement Study
For more information on the details results and methodology of the study, please see: www.blaze.io/blog

For more information on the Mobile measurement service
Blaze’s mobile measurement service can be found at: www.blaze.io/mobile

About Blaze
Blaze was founded in 2010 with a mission to help clients deliver better performing Web businesses by optimizing websites to increase website speed.  Blaze provides a hosted Web Performance Optimization service that improves frontend performance and reduces operational costs. For more information, see: www.blaze.io

 

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  • Lun

    Not surprised, Androids browser is really solid, but the only thing that lets it down, is that it doesn’t support HTML 5.

  • avenuePad

    I would imagine HTML5 support will be coming soon, but you’re right.

    Now I was originally born in Ottawa, so I was just wondering where this Ottowa, ON is…hehe :P

  • Inspiron41

    well thud!

  • Lg optimus 3d

    Keep improving! 8== ¤

  • RumpRoast

    The 16% must be Apple related sites lol :P

  • Khalid

    In English, if an apostrophe follows an s, another s isn’t used. I seriously wonder most days why you have a job.

    In other words, your headline should read as follows:
    45,000 Browser Tests Say Android Browser More Than 50% Faster Than iOS’ Safari

  • Victor

    Well its now more obvious if u want a phone that can use the huge useful information sink called the internet to the fullest potential, you have to go android

  • treefq
  • Prince

    @Khalid in english , an apostrophe following an s is not followed by an s only if the word is plural . Therefore iOS isn’t plural so it is still iOS’s . If it was for example Cars (random plural word) then it would be Cars’

  • http://smartic.us bryanl

    It may be faster, but SVG actually works in iOS.

  • Burko

    I bet the “On Demand” flash option within the browser got some usage here. :)

  • Whap

    I would have to assume this does not even begin to factor in google instant as they are just taking load times….i bet search times are significantly less too!

  • Alex

    @Khalid The headline is correct as written. The only time you don’t use another ‘S’ if it’s plural possessive. iOS is not plural. I have the Chicago Manual of Style right in front of me.

    Anyways, I’m surprised Apple is working on improving the browser at all, since it can provide access to free content–clearly a competitor to the App Store. I’m only partially kidding.

  • Kyle Vanderboss

    That test is bullshit!! EVO has the fastest Internet in the while world! Sprint EVO sprint EVO sprint EVO !!! Ha ha sorry I had to! Glad to see this, now to post it on an iPhone forum!

  • Fred

    That outta put skid marks in the iTards shorts!

  • Sean

    I’m not surprised Android won, but I AM surprised it was by that much.

    I have to believe that some of the disparity might have to do with this:
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/03/15/apple_ios_throttles_web_apps_on_home_screen/

    Essentially, the only time the updated “Nitro” javascript engine is used by an iOS device is when browsing through the native browser. Any webapp shortcuts on the home screen or an app that wraps the browser (as in the likely case of their test tool) uses the older, slower JS engine.

  • phantom

    Notice that they picked safari, they should compare it with other quicker web browsers like opera. Safari is more about graphics, not speed.

  • Ace Curry

    Its stock browser v stock browser.

  • AGx

    Why would they compare it against Opera? So it could be Opera vs Opera? Then the loser would just be Opera and that would just be a stupid test. The whole point of the test was Google vs Apple, not Google vs Opera.

  • jmax

    @Kyle
    The tests were done with Wi-Fi. Sprint’s 4G is irrelevant here. Currently, the EVO doesn’t even sport the best hardware, so you’re incorrect about the EVO being the fastest. And HTML 5 won’t be finalized until 2014. Flash is still top dog–not in preformance but widespread use.

  • Joe

    With iOS 4.3, Apple purposely made it so web-apps couldn’t take avantage of the java boost, as a way of getting people to use “real” apps instead.

  • Whap

    @jmax….i think kyle was making fun if evo fanboys. I took his comment a sarcasm.

  • Fletch

    I don’t get it…I had my OG Droid with 2.3 and my brother in laws iphone4 with 4.2 a few months ago and did side by side tests of about 10 different websites I view daily, cache cleared and everything…the difference was negligible. Only difference is I surf with Dolphin, not stock browser. Maybe that played a factor.

  • edhe

    So.. uh, what was the hardware? What was the networking setup?

    Seriously – android is a platform, not a product. Iphone4 is a product. Comparing the nexus S vs the iphone 4 is not oranges for oranges is it? It’s a significantly newer piece of hardware.

  • Jc

    @Khalid
    Both iOS’ and iOS’s are perfectly correct

  • Brad H

    @edhe – I think the iPhone 4 and the Nexus S is as oranges to oranges as you are going to get in a straight platform browser comparison. The two are the latest and greatest from the two, with the Nexus S being the newest “clean” version of Android.

    Would you prefer a iPhone 4 to a Nexus One? Would that be a more fair of a comparison?

    I wouldn’t say significantly newer. Sure six months is a long time in smartphones, but again, the best you are going to get.

  • Quentyn Kennemer

    @Khalid you repeatedly try to knock my grammar. You are proven wrong each and every time. I think it’s time to call it quits. I usually embrace criticism but you’re often wrong.

  • Bob

    Actually the test wasn’t done with the stock browser on iOS – it was done using a custom-written app with an embedded UIWebView. The problem is that it recently came to light that UIWebView does not perform as well as the Safari browser on iOS. So this test is somewhat flawed. (See: http://www.loopinsight.com/2011/03/17/study-comparing-android-to-iphone-web-browsing-speed-flawed/)

  • Richard Yarrell

    Apple is flawed completely

  • Simon Belmont

    @Khalid: Both iOS’ and iOS’s are acceptable and correct.

    Take it from someone whose real first name ends with the letter ‘s’ and has dealt with it many times. Cheers.

  • Whap

    Not to mention technically Ios safari would have also been correct. As it would have been a title like google goggles not google’s goggles our weebles’ wobbles. lol

  • Fred

    Why are there so many iTards here defending their master and commander? Why are they not busy flipping burgers to they can pi$$ it all away on the latest iFluff?

  • SCZMN

    The test didn’t use iOS’s stock browser, Safari…

  • ari-free

    Bob they used WebView (based on Chrome) for Android so they were still comparing apples to apples

  • theman

    Great…

    except my Nexus S has a lot of lag when scrolling around, but my 3 year old iPhone 3g sure as hell didn’t.

  • jmax

    @Quentyn Kennemer
    Tell Khalid what’s up! Some people just don’t appreciate free information. Oh well.

  • jmax

    @theman
    Sure didn’t. Speaking in past tense are we? Try 4.3 on your iPhone 3g. You may find some things have changed. I was browsing on my boss’ iPhone 3GS today–figuring out our tournament brackets–and it wasn’t a pleasant experience. My N1 has lag but the iPhone 3GS was worse. I love when people pretend the iPhone is flawless. I’ve seen them reboot randomly. I’ve seen their touch screens be nonresponsive–opening apps for instance. It’s just a cult of elitism is all.

  • ari-free

    Can’t wait to see firefox on android. Then I’ll put on my favorite extensions (such as the one everyone uses…) and websites will be even more pleasant to deal with. Not sure about how it will do in benchmarks but those extensions always seal the deal for me.

  • Mr. Truth

    Flawed test. Even Blaze themselves is admitting it.

    “This test leveraged the embedded browser which is the only available option for iPhone applications,” reads the Blaze statement. “Blaze was under the assumption that Apple would apply the same updates to their embedded browser as they would their regular browser. If this is not the case and according to Apple’s response, it’s certainly possible the embedded browser might produce different results. If Apple decides to apply their optimizations across their embedded browser as well, then we would be more than willing to create a new report with the new performance results.”

    source : http://www.loopinsight.com/2011/03/17/study-comparing-android-to-iphone-web-browsing-speed-flawed/

  • Big Wang

    Uh oh, watch out for a flood of Apple fan boyz moving to Android so they can watch their gay porno on their phones. /8-{o

  • Big Wang

    Mr. Truth, So Steve screws devs? I guess you’re right, that’s not news.

  • phantom

    It seems like several big tech magazines are questioning this test. Also there was a recent safari update a week ago so chances are they didn’t take the update into consideration.