Apple’s mobile market share dropped in China last quarter as the company faced stiff competition from local phone makers. It’s the second straight quarter that Apple has lost market share in the country, Reuters said. Even though Apple remains the largest seller of smartphones globally, it’s now just the 5th largest smartphone vendor in China, behind ZTE, with a 7.5% share for the quarter ended in December. That’s down from Apple’s 10.4% market share during the July-September quarter.
“Chinese handset makers have been actively promoting their smartphones with China’s three telecoms operators, so we saw ZTE and Huawei gain significant market share,” Gartner analyst CK Lu told Reuters. Apple’s sliding market share has also been partially blamed on customers who may have been waiting for China’s iPhone 4S launch last month. But price could also be affecting the company’s ability to sell more handsets.
Jayesh Easwaramony, an analyst with Frost & Sullivan in Singapore, told Reuters that the “rule of thumb” to selling mass market smartphones in China is to price the device around 70% of the average monthly salary. The iPhone, however, is priced at more than two months the average salary, which is why brands such as ZTE and Huawei have seen such success.