A user on the Macworld hints forums by the name of boxcarl has discovered an efficient way to use Safari on iOS. It's particularly useful if you are on a slower device like an older generation iPhone or iPod Touch, or connected over 3G rather than wifi.
Rather than have to launch Mobile Safari and wait for the last page you visited to load, etc.
1) Simply navigate to about:blank.
2) Now you can use 'Add to Home' to add it to your Springboard.
3) Name it (Boxcarl suggests something along the lines of 'New Tab,' but says you can name it whatever you like).
4) When you want to use the browser at a later time, simply hit that shortcut you created, clear out the "about:blank" and navigate where you want to go.
Again, this is especially useful for slower devices or while connecting over 3G. The idea is that it simply eliminates the need to let the last website you visited load.