There were more than 1 billion smartphones sold worldwide in 2014, according to the Gartner research group. Apple topped the list with 20.4 Q4 market share, ahead of Samsung (19.9 percent), Lenovo (6.6 percent), Huawei (5.7 percent), and Xiaomi (5.1 percent). Apple sold 74.8 million units in Q4, with the successful launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models.
Samsung continued to lose market share, dropping 10 percentage points during Q4 2014, according to Gartner. The company is facing increased pressure from Lenovo, Huawei and Xiaomi, with all three companies expanding sales efforts - with Lenovo and Huawei expected to increase sales and marketing efforts in the United States.
"With Apple dominating the premium phone market and the Chinese vendors increasingly offering quality hardware at lower prices, it is through a solid ecosystem of apps, content and services unique to Samsung devices that Samsung can secure more loyalty and longer-term differentiation at the high-end of the market," said Roberta Cozza, research director at Gartner.