Rush To Judgement: Apple Puts iPhone vs. Nexus Browser Speed Test On Blast

This image described by Google Chrome, iPhone Safari, iPhone embedded browser, Android native browser, Google-Nexus-S

A recent head-to-head speed test between the browsers on the iPhone and the Google Nexus S has the House of Jobs crying “Foul!”

The test in question was conducted by Blaze Software, who — after a reported 45,000 separate tests — concluded that the Nexus’ native browser blasted through page loads 52% faster than the iPhone’s browser. Blaze took great pains to point out that the tests used real-world web sites, rather than customized test scripts, and included both iOS 4.2 and 4.3 as well as Android 2.2 (on a Galaxy S) and 2.3 (on the Nexus).

Apple’s complaint is based on the fact that the iPhone’s Safari browser was not the one being tested, and in fact had been recently (as of iOS 4.3) optimized for speed.  Instead, the comparison focused on the iPhone’s UIWebView embedded browser, which (like the Android’s native WebView browser) is based on WebKit open source technology.  Apple did not indicate when, or if, the embedded browser would get the same performance upgrade as Safari.

Blaze has since updated the test results to clarify the difference between native vs. embedded browsers — although early in the report, they clearly state the competition was between Safari and Chrome: “Android‚Äôs Chrome beat iPhone‚Äôs Safari by loading 84% of the websites faster, meaning Safari won the race only 16% of the time.”  Still, this is why we at try not to rush tests like this one to publication as it is too easy to get the results wrong just to say “We were there first!”

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