Apple has lost market share in one of its most important markets, China, according to the latest report from Counterpoint Research, as reported by Bloomberg.
The iPhone maker has lost ground to local players and now accounts for only 10.8% of smartphones sold in China, down from 12% a year ago. The iPhone accounted for 14.3% of all smartphones sold in the country in the fourth calendar quarter of 2015, sharing second place with Huawei, while Xiaomi was the most popular smartphone manufacturer, grabbing 14.9% of the Chinese smartphone market.
Fast forward to May 2016 and the latest report shows Huawei has gained popularity, now accounting for 17.3% of all smartphones sold in China.
Tim Cook has touted the importance of China numerous times and even recently went as far as visiting the country. The launch of the lower-cost iPhone SE was targeted at developing markets, including China.
Apple’s sales in Greater China (including Taiwan and Hong Kong) fell 26% in the March quarter compared to a year ago. It remains to be seen how the launch of the iPhone SE has managed to change that sales curve.
Interestingly, Apple has been involved in various legal battles in China, losing a patent infringement case against a hardly existing firm, and a trademark dispute over the “iPhone” name. The company has also recently has been sued for infringing copyright by streaming a propaganda movie from the 1990s.