updated 06:15 pm EST, Mon January 2, 2012
Windows Phone web speed claims already outdated
In most cases, the newer iPhone 4S was more than twice as fast, running three times as quickly as the Lumia 800 in the Sunspider benchmark. Microsoft's lead in the Speed Reading test was also mostly eroded by software: just upgrading the iPhone 4 to iOS 5 puts it within three frames per second of the year newer Nokia phone.
Apple doesn't have the absolute lead. Benchmarks of the Galaxy Nexus show that Google's browser expertise mixed with Android 4.0 optimizations are slightly faster than the iPhone 4S in some areas, though not in others.
The deficit can largely be pinned on the Internet Explorer 9 engine itself. While much faster and more accurate than the IE7-based engine it replaced, it's still outperformed by modern WebKit browsers like Chrome and Safari on the desktop, most of which translates over to mobile. Microsoft is also hobbled by slightly outdated chassis specifications that limit current models to single-core processors where Apple, Samsung, and most rivals can use two cores and win through brute force.