Samsung Galaxy Round VS Note 3-Back

Apple may not be the only firm with record smartphone sales last quarter. According to a new report from Strategy Analytics, Samsung shipped 86 million smartphone units in the fourth quarter of 2013. Apple, by comparison, shipped 51 million iPhones in its fiscal Q1 – the same three-month time period. Samsung smartphone sales for all of 2013 came in at 319.8 million units, Strategy Analytics said, up 30.4 percent from the year prior, according to Reuters.

Samsung and Apple were the top two smartphone makers and are followed by Huawei and Lenovo, which sold 16.6 million units and 13.6 million units, respectively, Strategy Analytics said, both of which have quickly become major players in the global smartphone industry, not just in China where both have been successful players. "Samsung and Apple will need to fight hard to hold off these and other hungry challengers during 2014," Linda Sui, author of the report, warned.

The brands are riding on the coattails of Android, which has the largest chunk of the global mobile operating system market share. Android continued to chew away at iOS in 12 major markets around the globe during the last quarter, according to a separate report from Kantar Worldpanel published yesterday.

Samsung has a bit of a leg up on Apple because it sells lower-priced phones and multiple models in varying screen sizes and with low, mid and high-end specs. Apple has fought hard to instead focus on the higher-tier markets, though it did recently introduce the 8GB iPhone 4 in India to try to fight off lower-cost rivals. Apple also failed to meet Wall Street projections for iPhone sales, which may be attributed to supply limitations on the iPhone 5s and weaker than expected demand for the iPhone 5c.