Apple Falls to 4th Place in China Smartphone Sales

Fierce competition from Samsung and a trio of Chinese brands have reduced Apple’s share of China’s smartphone market by half in the second quarter, according to International Data Corporation.

The iPhone’s share fell from 19% to 10%, though some of that drop-off is attributable to customers waiting for the fall launch of iPhone 5, according to IDC analyst TZ Wong.

Meanwhile Samsung’s boosted its smartphone market share to 19%, putting itself in first place in China, as well as the world.

Chinese smartphone makers Lenovo, ZTE and Huawei entered the top five for the first time, with market shares, respectively, of 11%, 10% and 9% for second, third and fifth place. These domestic brands remain down in the lower end of the market in which most phones are priced 1,000 yuan ($160) or less. The upper end belongs almost entirely to Samsung, Apple and a handful of smaller foreign brands.

Smartphones now account for 51% of all mobile phone sales in China or 44.4 million handsets during the 2nd quarter, according to IDC.