A man walks on the Apple Inc., campus in Cupertino, California. Credit: Reuters/Robert Galbraith
Samsung is still the most popular handset in China and domestic companies are also performing well, while Apple lost its fifth-place position.
Apple's iPhone, which had been the fifth most popular handset in the second quarter and was the second most popular in the first quarter of 2012 was beaten into sixth place by Chinese manufacturer Huawei in the latest quarter's results, published by Canalys.
Samsung now accounts for 14 percent of the Chinese smartphone market, followed by Lenovo (13%), and, most surprisingly, Yulong Computer Telecommunication Scientific, whose Coolpad phones have broken into the top five for the first time, moving into third place due to the company's broad product profile and handset prices that start below $100. The top five was completed by ZTE and Huawei.
According to Canalys, 50 million smartphones were shipped in China over the last quarter, meaning its consumers represent a third of the world market. As a market that is still emerging in terms of mobile connected device ownership, the companies that are performing well are those that can offer a handset for between $70 and $120 (with or without a contract). Low-cost handsets from Chinese companies accounted for 60 percent of the market and this share is expected to grow as more of the population surrender their feature phones for something more modern.
And if growth is in low-cost handsets, it comes as little surprise that Apple only has 8 percent of the market. Its iPhone 4S currently retails for $713. However, third quarter sales of the handset have also been impacted by the upcoming launch of the iPhone 5, which is expected to arrive in China in December.