anandtechThe newest Apple iPhone 3G S model is 54 percent faster than its predecessor iPhone 3G that came out a year ago, but it’s only about 11 percent faster than the Palm Pre smartphone, according to the tech site Anandtech.

The measure is based on how fast the phone can render web pages. The speed is based on a combination of the network’s speed, the efficiency of the browser, and the performance of the hardware. Since the iPhone 3G S has similar hardware to the Pre, you’d expect the performance to be similar. The iPhone 3G S has a 600-megahertz ARM-based Cortex A8 core built by Samsung, while the Pre has a different version of the ARM-based Cortex A8 core.

The new iPhone is also 13 percent to 42 percent faster at loading applications than last year’s model.  And it’s far faster at loading applications than the T-Mobile G1 based on Google’s Android software. For instance, it loads Google Maps in 2.7 seconds, while the G1 takes 4.4 seconds.

I went into an Apple store on Saturday and, sure enough, the software and web sites both load extremely fast. Google Maps was so fast it was like using it on a broadband-connected desktop.

[Are you an entrepreneur or executive active in mobile? Join us at MobileBeat 2009, our mobile conference for industry leaders, where we’ll be debating these ecosystem wars. Sign up soon.]