The iPhone’s Safari browser couldn’t win this week: it was either hopelessly outdated against the efforts of Google (NSDQ: GOOG) and Android or part of a larger conspiracy to drive more business to Apple’s App Store.
Two separate-yet-similar reports regarding the performance of Apple’s iPhone Web browser underscore the perils of benchmarking and the intense scrutiny paid to anything Apple-related in the modern tech world. The most recent report arrived Thursday via Blaze, a consulting company focused on Web site design and optimization. It sought to measure the performance of Safari against Android’s mobile Chrome browser by measuring page load times across the Web sites of Fortune 1000 companies.
The results? “Android’s Chrome beat iPhone’s Safari by loading 84 (percent) of the websites faster, meaning Safari won the race only 16 (percent) of the time. While we expected to see one of the browsers come out on top, we didn’t expect this gap,” Blaze wrote in its report. The thing is, they should definitely have tumbled to at least one of the reasons for the gap, either in their testing itself or just prior to publishing this study.
In any event, the back-and-forth proves that benchmarking controversies are one PC era headache bound to infiltrate the post-PC era, and that even the tiniest cracks in Apple’s armor are bound to stir up a hornet’s nest. Of course, these reports don’t even address the real problem with mobile browsing or Web applications: the speed and availability of one’s wireless network. If the network is shaky, it doesn’t matter which browser you’re using.