Apple is probably still the most desirable company to date but it is still not immune to declining stocks as well as fierce competition at home and abroad. The giant American company has fallen to the 6th spot as smartphone maker in China, according to research company IDC.
The announcement of IDC came following Apple’s biggest loss in a single day after 4 years. The company lost about $35 billion of its market value after concerns that rivals has gained ground in mobile market bothered investors.
China is currently the biggest mobile gadget market in the world and competition in its smartphone sector is growing by leaps. Several local and foreign vendors, including Apple, are vying for good positions in the country as each one outguns each other with innovative features and aggressive price.
As an example, Nokia has announced yesterday that it has reached an agreement with China Mobile, China’s largest mobile carrier, to sell its Lumia phones in the couintry. The move will give the Finland-based company a good start to jumpstart its ailing faltering smartphone business and to win back a slice of Chinese smartphone market from Apple’s iPhone.
According to the IDC report, Apple’s third quarter ranking fell by two notches from its previous position during the second quarter. Apple’s market share by shipments fell below 10 percent during the third quarter, when China’s smartphone shipments were at all time high at more than 60 million units sold, the IDC said.
The launch of iPhone 5 this December in China may see a significant rebound for Apple though. The company received a nod from country regulators to sell iPhone 5 in the country last week.
South Korean Samsung Electronics Co Ltd holds the top spot, followed by the number 2 PC maker Lenovo Group Ltd. The world’s number 2 telecom gear maker Huawei Technologies Co Ltd holds the number 5 spot, said the IDC.
Homegrown Coolpad occupies the number 3 position, outgunning ZTE Corp to number four. The report from IDC did not give market share figures for other companies except Apple.
“Chinese vendors Coolpad, Lenovo and ZTE made it to the Asia Pacific ex-Japan top 5 vendors on strong performance in their home market, showing that it is not impossible for Chinese vendors to surpass international vendors,” said senior market analyst at IDC Wong Teck-zhung.
China has over 1 billion mobile phone users but less than a fifth are using 3G capable handsets.
The top three mobile services providers, China Mobile, Unicom, and Telecom, are offering generous mobile gadget subsidies to attract users keen on social networking and online gaming.
Chinese customers are price sensitive so Chinese vendors are offering smartphones at the sub-1000 yuan category ($160).
“Price continues to be king,” said senior vice president for Qualcomm’s product management Jeff Lorbecksaid in a conference on Thursday.
The local China brands are becoming increasingly important in both the carrier channels and open-market channels, so a lot of the tier 1 global brands are being displaced by China’s local brands,” he added.