Low-priced smartphones have been competing against the iPhone for at least a year in China, and the effects are showing in Apple’s slipping marketshare in the country. Research firm IDC reports via Reuters that Apple has fallen to No. 6 in China’s smartphone market during third quarter sales, down from fourth place in the previous quarter. Rival Samsung remains in the No. 1 spot.

IDC analysts say that the expected release of the iPhone 5 on Dec. 14 should boost sales, and pre-orders through China Unicom have topped more than 100,000. But, Apple is not reaching a good bit of the Chinese market. China Mobile, the world’s largest cellular provider, has 700 million subscribers, and Apple has been in negotiations with them since 2009. But even if Apple managed to finally seal a deal with China Mobile, Reuters reports that Chinese shoppers are gravitating toward smartphones that cost under 1,000 yuan (around US$160) moreso than Apple’s pricier handsets.

[via M.I.C. Gadget]

Apple’s ranking falls in Chinese smartphone market originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Thu, 06 Dec 2012 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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