Web traffic: iPhone 5 wins but Galaxy S III holds its own

Just a few weeks after the iPhone 5(s aapl) launched, it’s already pulling it more web traffic than Samsung’s Galaxy S III smartphone according to one specific measure. Mobile advertiser Chitika shared data on Friday showing that in a review of web traffic on sites that use Chitika’s ad network, the iPhone 5 accounts for 56 percent of the total web traffic volume compared to 44 percent from the Galaxy S III; a phone that launched five months ago.

In a blog post sharing the data, Chitika suggests that businesses targeting mobile users should still favor iOS due to iPhone owners browsing more than their Galaxy S III counterparts. What explains the different in web traffic between the two devices? “Record-breaking sales numbers, along with new 4G browsing speeds which encourage data usage, are the most likely explanation for this tremendous growth,” says Chitika. I’m not sold on the 4G LTE support as a huge influence here though: Samsung’s Galaxy S III launched with LTE support in U.S. markets, just as the new iPhone 5 did.

Normally, these types of web usage studies show iPhones exceeding that of Android devices, so I’m not questioning the data. In fact, where Chitika sees the data as a bad sign for Samsung, I’d counter that to a degree, it’s actually not so bad. Why? Because this is the first time I can remember seeing a single Android handset model being even close to competitive to Apple’s iPhone in any statistical research. Android(s goog) as a whole exceeds iPhone sales but Apple fans are quick to point out that no single phone can compete. At least one does now.

Regardless of whether you see the glass half full or half empty, I asked Chitika for additional data on the top mobile sites that both phone groups were browsing. I’m curious if some of them are simply more popular and geared towards one platform or the other that could be adding weight to either phone.

Chitika couldn’t provide the specifics due to contractual agreements with advertisers but said:

[B]e assured that our network is composed of hundreds of thousands of publishers within the United States across a diverse set of verticals.  As such, our network studies are a representative sample of U.S. Internet behavior.