iPhone 3GS JavaScript Performance Blows Away Rivals, Approaches MacBook Speed

speed_racer_movie_poster_newA few speed tests done on the new iPhone 3GS pitting it both against the old iPhone as well as its main rivals. So far, these have either been eyeball tests or page rendering/boot time tests that take a bunch of variables into account. Mobile analytics and advertising company Medialets has released numbers for a test that it considers to be the most direct line of comparison for the iPhone 3GS against the iPhone 3G, the Palm Pre and the Android G1. And once again, the 3GS blows everyone away.

In Medialets test, they are specifically testing WebKit JavaScript performance. This makes sense since all these devices have a WebKit-based browser. WebKit offers a JavaScript test suite, SunSpider, which is used to determine the results. And just to make clear how fast the iPhone 3GS’ JavaScript speed is, Medialets set a 2GHz Core 2 Duo MacBook as the baseline.

Compared to the MacBook, the iPhone 3G running the iPhone OS 2.2.1 software had JavaScript performance that was 96 times worse. Meanwhile, an iPhone 3G running the iPhone 3.0 software was on 36 times worse. A T-Mobile G1 running the new Android 1.5 “Cupcake” software was 67 times worse than the baseline. And the Palm Pre was 36 times worse, equalling the iPhone 3G running the 3.0 software. So how did the iPhone 3GS do? It’s performance was only 12 times worse that of the MacBook — three times better than the Pre.

That’s pretty incredible when you think about it. Sure, this is only a JavaScript test, and hardly indicative of everything you can do on the device, but JavaScript is an integral part of the web, and sites continue to use it more and more as websites get more robust. And the rate of improvement that the iPhone is seeing in performance in that regards means that soon we could see a mobile device that handles the web just as fast as an actual computer.