Is Android really faster than iOS?

Android loads pages an average of 52 percent faster than the iPhone iOS, one tracking firm said this week. Others aren't so sure.

Android is faster than the iPhone iOS, according to one new study.

Android – the mobile operating system built by Google and installed on millions of handsets worldwide – chews through websites 52 percent faster than the Apple iPhone iOS. That's the news today from Blaze Software, the analytics firm which recently tested iPhone iOS version 4.3 and Android version 2.3 on two phones: An iPhone 4 and a Nexus S.

According to Blaze, the test was conducted using the websites of the companies listed in the Fortune 1000. 45,000 page loads were undertaken in all – and of those 45,000 loads, Android's Chrome browser was faster than iPhone's safari browser 84 percent of the time. "While we expected to see one of the browsers come out on top, we didn’t expect this gap," Blaze reps wrote today on the official company blog.

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"It’s not that Apple doesn’t care about speed, but Google is fanatical about it," Guy Podjarny, chief technology officer of Blaze, told Bloomberg News.

But over at the Loop, Jim Dalrymple questions the efficacy of the study. He points out that the Blaze testers relied on custom apps, and not the official browser – "WebView (based on Chrome) for Android, and UIWebView (based on Safari) for iPhone.” The problem with using UIWebView, Dalrymple continues, "is that even though it’s based on Safari, it didn’t receive any of the updates that Safari did in iOS 4.3."

Unsurprisingly, Apple agrees. "Their testing is flawed because they didn’t actually test the Safari web browser on the iPhone,” an Apple spokesperson told The Loop. “Instead they only tested their own proprietary app which uses an embedded web viewer that doesn’t take advantage of Safari’s web performance optimizations. Despite this fundamental testing flaw, they still only found an average of a second difference in loading web pages."

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