It’s been less than a month, and already the Apple iPhone 5 has been available long enough to overtake the Samsung Galaxy S III in terms of Web traffic volume. The eye-raising results are being attributed to “record-breaking sales numbers” and “new 4G browsing speeds which encourage data usage” but a closer look shows that it’s not that simple.

The latest data comes from Chitika Insights, which conducted a user agent analysis on millions of mobile ad impressions, spanning a 7-day time frame from October 3 through October 9. Notice that by this time the iPhone 5 had not yet been available for a full three weeks. The firm then looked solely at impressions coming from the iPhone 5 and the Galaxy S III, and came up with this:

iphone5 galaxys3 520x321 In under three weeks, Apples iPhone 5 overtakes Samsungs Galaxy S III in mobile Web traffic

The Galaxy S III was released on May 29, or more than four months ago. The iPhone 5 was released on September 19, or just over three weeks ago.

Both are very popular devices and so I would be really surprised to learn that there are more iPhone 5s than Galaxy S IIIs out there right now. So, how is the iPhone 5 already so ahead in mobile Web traffic?

As I’ve mentioned before, almost every mobile market share study shows that the iOS browser is used significantly more than the Android browser. As Chrome gets on more Android devices, this will likely start to change, but until then, if we use mobile traffic as a metric for device adoption, the iPhone will always look like it’s doing much better than it really is.

Nevertheless Chitika concludes:

This latest shift in the mobile ecosystem is not welcome news for Samsung, which has positioned its device as a direct competitor to the iPhone 5. While optimizing online content for both devices is still the smart move for businesses targeting mobile consumers, this comparison emphasizes iPhone users still being the most active – and hence marketable – users of the mobile Web.

I disagree with the first point as the data doesn’t hold much water: Samsung is likely very happy with the sales of the S III. The second point stands though: Web developers will of course want to target the iPhone 5 first, although any sane developer will not disregard the Galaxy S III.

See also: Steve Wozniak wishes Apple was less arrogant and had released two sizes for the iPhone 5

Image credit: Paskaan