If you spent $1,000 on an iPhone X, thinking you would get the best smartphone experience, including the best Internet speed, Qualcomm’s latest claim in the supremacy battle of Android phones vs iPhones might disappoint you. In a blog post today, Qualcomm claimed that the latest Android smartphones are well ahead of the latest iPhones in cellular speeds, citing Ookla Speedtest results.
Why are Ookla Speedtest results important?
In its post, Qualcomm touts the supremacy of its Snapdragon 845 chip (with integrated X20 LTE modem) over other chips on the market, including the Intel XMM 7480, which is used in some iPhone X models. To come to this conclusion, the chip maker used the Ookla database, which includes results from over a million speed tests from smartphone users around the globe.
Thus Ookla Speedtest results are seen as an important achievement in the supremacy battle of Android phones vs iPhones. Based on the Ookla Speedtest results, which measure download speeds, upload speeds and latency, Android phones powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 (such as the Galaxy S9 and S9+) enjoy a significant lead over phones integrated with Intel’s XMM 7480 and XMM 7360 chips (such as the iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus).
“A recent analysis by Ookla, a global leader in internet testing and network diagnostics, of Speedtest Intelligence data revealed double-digit gains in latency and triple-digit gains in download and upload speeds for Snapdragon 845 Android smartphones versus Intel-based non-Android smartphones,” Qualcomm said.
Qualcomm shared the most recent Ookla Speedtest results for the period between April and June. Since the Ookla Speedtest results cover a large number of samples, different devices and chipsets, they tend to give a good picture of the top performers. Ookla regularly calculates its speed test results based on user-submitted tests. Such reports are very popular among cellular carriers and smartphone manufacturers, which use it to tout the supremacy of their devices over others.
In reference to the latest speed test results, Apple told Bloomberg in a statement: “With both LTE-Advanced speeds and Apple’s custom-designed A11 Bionic, the smartest and most powerful chip ever in a smartphone, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X provide an incredibly fast wireless experience that can easily handle today’s most demanding tasks.”
Further, the company said iPhones offer the “best worldwide LTE coverage.”
Android phones vs iPhones: speed not the sole criterion
According to the Ookla Speedtest results, Samsung’s Galaxy S9 enjoys an average download speed (across carriers in the U.S.) of 38.9 megabits per second. The S9+ delivers 38.4 Mbps, based on a sample size of about 169,000 phone connections, while the iPhone X has an average download speed of 29.7 Mbps, based on 603,000 tests). The iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone 8 deliver download speeds of 29.4 Mbps and 28.6 Mbps, respectively.
Google’s latest Pixel handsets also score better than iPhones, giving Android a further lead in the battle of Android phones vs iPhones. The Pixel 2 XL and Pixel 2 demonstrated speeds of 33.9 Mbps and 34.4 Mbps, respectively.
The data also revealed that the iPhone X worked faster on the Verizon network with an average speed of 31.5 Mbps, while it was the slowest on Sprint with an average speed of 25.1 Mbps. The Galaxy S9+ recorded average speeds of 38.2 Mbps and 34.2 Mbps on Verizon and Sprint, respectively.
Though the speed test results favor Android phones, buyers seem unfazed. Though Samsung was the biggest smartphone vendor last year, shipping over 317 million units (per IDC data), Apple hogged all the limelight with its iPhone X, which is the best-reviewed smartphone in the world. Last year, Apple sold over 216 million iPhones, and in 2018, it could even sell more, considering the range of devices it is expected to launch later this year.
It must be noted that Apple uses chips from both Intel and Qualcomm. However, it uses Qualcomm’s X16, which would be slower than the newer X20. Apple’s 2018 lineup, which is expected to be released soon, will come with new LTE technology. Rumors suggest Apple will improve the antenna technology for faster connection speeds.
Samsung’s anti-Apple ads
It is not just Qualcomm touting the supremacy of Android phones. Samsung used the same data to get an edge in the battle of Android phones vs iPhones. The Korean firm recently used the Ookla Speedtest results in its anti-Apple ads to highlight the faster download speeds of its latest handsets, the Galaxy S9 and the Galaxy S9+.
Samsung didn’t stop there. Last week, it followed it up with three more ads making fun of the iPhone X on three fronts. The first ad highlighted the lack of a quick charger with the iPhone X, while the second underscored the absence of a headphone socket, and the third touted the Galaxy S9’s higher score in DxOMark tests.
It will be interesting to see how Apple responds to these ads as the epic battle of Android phones vs iPhones continues.