Someone said to me, "X is potentially faster than Y". Without any clarification at that point, I immediately assumed that the speaker thought that X was at least not slower than Y.
It was revealed in a further discussion, however, that the speaker did not know much about the current performance of either X or Y. What they meant was that, if both were given equal opportunities for optimisation, X would certainly end up faster (and, probably, that it might already be the case).
I agree that "potentially so and so" can certainly translate that way, i.e. something merely has the potential to be so and so. My question, however, is about an implication of "potentially" when it is used in a comparison.
So, when I hear, "X is potentially faster than Y", is it normal, without more information on the subject, for me to assume that X is at least not slower or should I wait for more information before jumping to a conclusion? Does it depend on the situation (e.g. heard in a conversation vs read in a technical article)?