While Apple and Samsung continued to dominate the smartphone market, the two standouts are increasingly seeing pressure from other players. 

Huawei and Lenovo both managed to sell more smartphones in the first quarter of 2014 than they did in the same quarter last year. According to new numbers from IDC, Huawei kept its third place position worldwide, beating out Lenovo by fewer than a million units. Huawei  hopes to sell 80 million smartphones globally in 2014. 

Lenovo meanwhile posted the largest year-over-year increase among the leading vendors, with continued success in Asia/Pacific and a nominal presence elsewhere. IDC notes that will change quickly once Lenovo completes its acquisition of Motorola. 

Both Huawei and Lenovo managed to increase their share of the market about 1 percent annually, to 4.9 percent and 4.6 percent respectively. 

Regardless of gains by smaller challengers, Samsung remained king of the hill, taking home 30.2 percent of the total market. Apple followed at a distant second with 15.5 percent share. Both Apple and Samsung have lost share annually, according to IDC. 

Overall the global smartphone market began the year with an expected retrenchment from holiday quarter shipment volumes, but still posted an annual increase in the first quarter of 2014. According to the IDC vendors shipped a total of 281.5 million smartphones worldwide, up 28.6 percent from the 218.8 million units in the same quarter last year but down 2.8 percent from the 289.6 million units shipped in the fourth quarter of 2013. 

The results beat IDC's forecast of 267.2 million units for the first quarter of 2014 by 5.3 percent.