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Apple Inc's ranking in the Chinese smartphone market fell to No 6 in the third quarter, as the company faced tough competition from domestic rivals, research firm International Data Corp said.
Apple's market share by shipments in China was under 10 percent in the third quarter, slipping two notches from its position in the previous quarter, IDC said.
"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," Wong Teck-zhung, a senior market analyst at IDC, said in a statement.
However, IDC analysts expect Apple's market share to rebound starting this month, as the latest iPhone 5 handset is about to hit the Chinese market.
Previously, Apple said that the fourth-generation iPad and iPad mini will arrive in China on Dec 7, while the iPhone 5 will show up a week later on Dec 14. The iPhone 5 will be sold in China at a price starting from 5,288 yuan ($849.80).
China Telecom and China Unicom started to accept pre-orders for iPhone 5 devices across the country this week.