NEW YORK – Apple’s iPhone worked slower loading websites than phones using Google’s Android operating system in 84 percent of test cases, according to a Canadian software company.

The iPhone 4 was pitted against Google’s Nexus S smartphone over the same WiFi connection, so any differences in mobile- carrier speeds didn’t affect the outcome, Ottawa-based Blaze Software said Thursday in releasing the research. The Android phone operated 52 percent faster on average after more than 45,000 page loads from 1,000 websites, Blaze said.

Users don’t always notice the speed gap because websites are sometimes tailored to mobile phones, Blaze said. The difference will become more obvious as users demand richer experiences and move to tablet computers with larger screens, said Guy Podjarny, chief technology officer of Blaze, whose business is helping companies increase website download times.

“It’s not that Apple doesn’t care about speed, but Google is fanatical about it,” Podjarny said in an interview.

Android became the world’s best-selling smartphone operating system in the fourth quarter, outselling the iPhone two-to-one, according to Canalys, a research company based in Britain.

Web pages took an average of 2.14 seconds to load on Android compared with 3.25 seconds on iPhone, Blaze said. When loading lighter websites — those that are optimal for mobile phones because the pages have fewer features, such as pictures, to be downloaded — the difference between the two systems was less noticeable, according to the report.

That’s probably because there were fewer page elements, making a download more efficient, Podjarny said.

Google’s browser is probably faster because of the way it organizes the download, Podjarny said. Google’s software finds more efficient ways of getting different elements of a page, such as pictures or text, he said.

The difference in download speeds may be the result of corporate philosophies, Podjarny said. Google emphasizes speed while Apple concentrates on design.