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This trend in mobile web performance should put you at ease. Here's the story:

The iPhone 3, launched in 2008, has a V8 benchmark score (version 5) of 23. A year later, it was 49 on the iPhone 3gs, and a year after that, was 83 on the iPhone 4, and 101 on the iPad. in 2012, the score is 1569 on my iPhone 5. For reference, my 2006 Mac Pro on Chrome 24 scores 11896. 

Now, some of that is hardware getting better, and some of it is Mobile Safari (Nitro in particular) improving. Whatever the case, it has been roughly doubling (and sometimes tripling) every year. The iPhone 5 is now only 7 times slower than what was the most powerful desktop in 2006. 

If the trend keeps up, in 2015, Apple will ship an iPhone that meets or exceeds the browsing performance of my home desktop. I don't have much to complain about the performance of websites on my desktop (which is why I abstained from upgrading it, and also because Apple won't upgrade the Mac Pro :( )

At that point, Web performance will be "good enough" (not necessarily better than native of course), that I think the pressure to develop native apps will be diminished. Moreover, HTML5 will be better than too.

Comparing Octane performance, we have a similar doubling, with my Mac Pro only 6x better then an iPhone 5.

Whether it is Apple, Google, Mozilla, and Microsoft's browser teams, or Moore's law, the mobile web, I think, is poised to make a come back, and at  that point, I think development will split. Those developers creating intensive games and digital content creation/manipulation apps will stick with native, just like on the Desktop PC today. But increasingly, many basic content consumption apps will move back to the web, where the reach and deployment story is strong. 

Don't count the web out.
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7 comments
 
It might interest you to know that a score of 100 on the V8 benchmark suite means that you're running JavaScript as fast as Firefox did on my corporate workstation around 5 years ago.
 
+Tau-Mu Yi Two things: First, iPhone 5 was 2x the iPhone 4s, and the iPhone 4s was probably 2x the iPhone 4 (iPhone 4 was single core A4, iphone 4s was dual-core A5). So you have 4x CPU. 

Secondly, somewhere around IOS4.2->4.3, the Nitro engine in Mobile Safari got 3x faster on the benchmark. So you have 4x faster CPU and 3x faster Javascript engine = 12x. I don't know where the rest came from. 

There may be some error in these numbers, or some apples-to-oranges, but regardless of that, whether it was hardware or software improvements, the trend has been been roughly a 65x improvement since 2008. 
 
Rather depressing to see the Ripples of this post. Most of the reshares have focused on the the iPhone vs Android aspect of the Anandtech chart.

People, that is not the point. All of the platforms: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Chrome OS, Boot2Gecko, etc are getting faster. And when all of them get reasonably good, then the actual OS will be commoditized for some app developers, and they will fall back to develop web apps in order to target the most number of devices.

If only Apple's web browser got faster, then it would not help the mobile web as much. 

But a rising WebKit and Moore's law tide lifts all boats.
 
A couple of observations:
- I'd really like to see how much of this improvement is due to software changes as opposed to hardware. Not that both don't matter in some sense (as long as compute/watt is improving), but I'd like to get a better sense for how rapidly the VMs and browser rendering engines are approaching their native counterparts (and what the improvement curve looks like).
- I'm really bummed to see that a lot of the Android vendors are skimping in the GPU category. I don't know if it's hardware, drivers, or both, but PowerVR's chips and designs are widely available, so there's no excuse for recent Android devices to be getting spanked to the tune of 2-3x performance difference on many benchmarks.
 
My theory: The PowerVR chips are uniquely suited for mobile due to being deferred renderers. They got their asses kicked on the Desktop by Nvidia and ATI, because you can just keep dropping in faster and faster GDDR memory to compensate.

But on mobile, the ability to keep part of the framebuffer on-chip, to cull overdraw, drastically reduces the requirements for exotic memory and pixel fillrate.  I don't know if immediate mode GPUs can ever really match the power efficiency of a deferred renderer unless mobile games geometry workloads go up dramatically.

For whatever reason, other SoC vendors are being sold on Mali, Tegra, etc, Maybe the licensing terms are better. 

Really makes Nvidia's decision to buy Gigapixel, but then shelve the tile-based deferred rendering IP look bad.
 
I agree; already I end up deleting most of the apps that websites suggest I install, and use the web instead
 
My Galaxy S3 with Google Chrome gets a score of 1635. Android and Chrome (both Open Source) FTW
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