Surfing the mobile Web is faster with iOS 5 than with iOS 4. At least, that is the result in a recent test conducted by New Relic.
The company, which measures and manages the performance of Web-based applications, conducted two tests–one in the wild and one in a lab. The results of both tests showed that mobile Web pages loaded quicker on an iPhone with Apple’s latest OS than with iOS 4.
The first test measured the average response time for more than 3,000 Web applications, as used by New Relic customers. With its end-user monitoring technology, New Relic team can track performance at the browser level as people interact with different apps. In this test, the average page took 4.1 seconds to load under iOS 5 vs. 9.6 seconds with iOS 4.
The second test was a controlled one that pitted two iPhones with the same hardware against each other, one running iOS 5 and the other iOS 4. In the lab test, the average mobile Web page took 1.88 seconds to load on the phone with iOS 5 and 6.34 seconds to load on the other with iOS 4.
The uncontrolled tests are likely less exact because the customers who were monitored may own a variety of different iPhones. Powered by a dual-core A5 chip, the iPhone 4S should be faster overall than an iPhone 4 or 3GS, regardless of the operating system.
The lab test may be a more accurate gauge since the same hardware was used in a controlled environment.

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