When we last checked in on the battle for the top spot in the smartphone market, Apple and Samsung were neck and neck. If you ask Gartner, though, it isn't quite so evenly matched. The analyst group estimates that Apple managed to edge past Samsung in the fourth quarter of 2014, shipping 74.8 million phones to Samsung's 73 million. That isn't exactly a cavernous gap, but it's been a long time since any research firm unambiguously declared Apple the biggest vendor -- over three years, if you're wondering. Having said this, the changing of the guard isn't completely surprising. Apple had two brand new iPhones in the fall to goose its sales, while Samsung was grappling with both surging Chinese competitors (including chart rivals Lenovo, Huawei and Xiaomi) and a flagship phone that was getting long in the tooth.