Apple’s iPhone 5 in under three weeks has managed to overtake Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S III smartphone in web traffic volume, a new survey by research and analytics firm Chitika has found. Let’s put this in some perspective. The iPhone 5 went on sale in the United States, Canada and seven major oversea markets on September 21, or just over three weeks ago, rolling out the following week to 22 more countries.

Samsung released its Galaxy S III on May 29, four months ago. By July, the South Korean conglomerate was selling the flagship handset in a whopping 145 countries, shipping 20 million units as of September 6. Apple plans to sell the iPhone 5 in a hundred countries through 240 carriers by year’s end and announced opening weekend sales of five million iPhone 5 units

The survey findings (via The Next Web) show that Apple’s device has overtaken the Galaxy S III in terms of web traffic volume in just 18 days since its public release. The iPhone 5 accounted for 56 percent of web traffic observed across Chitika’s mobile ad network, with Samsung’s phone accounting for the remaining 44 percent of all web traffic volume in the network.

The survey is based on a user agent analysis on millions of mobile ad impressions in a 7-day period from October 3 through October 9.

Chitika contributed such a huge discrepancy to the iPhone 5 effect:

Record-breaking sales numbers, along with new 4G browsing speeds which encourage data usage, are the most likely explanation for this tremendous growth. 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.

It should be noted that the research focuses only on ad impressions and only those on Chitika’s network so the numbers may not paint an accurate picture of the whole market.

As such, the findings should be interpreted as a guidance only and taken with a healthy dose of salt.

Are you surprised that the iPhone 5 overtook the Galaxy S III in just 18 days?