Are Apple's iPhones too expensive for average Chinese consumers or do consumers dislike Apple's devices because the phones lack the dual-SIM features loved so much in Android?
Apple should learn quickly how to fix its failings in China because new entrants are beating it on shipments. To make matters worse, one-time Chinese smartphone darling Xiaomi also saw a significant drop in its numbers, while cheaper Chinese brands rose in prominence.
According to the latest report released by the market research firm Strategy Analytics, Apple was surpassed by local Chinese manufacturers Vivo and Oppo by both market share and shipment in the second quarter of 2016.
The report showed that during the second quarter of 2016, Apple shipped 7.3 million smartphones in China, a decrease of 25% compared with the 9.7 million shipment in the same period of last year. At the same time, its market share decreased from 9.2% to 6.7% and its ranking fell from the third to the fifth in the Chinese market.
Huawei ranked first with shipments of 19.1 million smartphones, an increase of 15% compared with the 16.6 million shipment in the same period of last year; and its market share increased from 15.8% to 17.5%. Oppo ranked second with a market share increase from 6.9% to 13.9%; Vivo ranked third with a market share increase from 7.4% to 11.9%; and Xiaomi ranked fourth with a market share decrease from 18.6% to 11.7%.
The report also showed that during the second quarter of 2016, China's total smartphone shipment was 109 million units, an increase of 3.7% compared with the 105.1 million shipment in the same period of last year. China was still the largest smartphone market in the world and its smartphone shipment accounted for one-third of the total global smartphone shipment.