>> The Apple factor has been slipping for a while in China, but on Tuesday we got a glimpse of just how bad things are getting. Third quarter iPhone sales down more than a quarter from last year, the worst decline in anywhere in the world. Causing China its tidal as Apple second most important market after the US.
CEO Tim Cooke has been quick to tell investors that the company is coming down from record setting growth in China, but worrying trends seem to be only getting worse. Firstly, Chinese consumers aren't as easily impressed as they used to be and iPhones are losing their luster as status symbol.
Then there's the ever growing problem with competition. China's smartphone market is saturated with cheaper products from local companies like Xiaomi or up start Oppo which has cornered 22% of the market with discount phones. The iPhone SE model was meant to compete on that front but it largely fell flat.
To make up for lost ground, Apple's trying to boost services like music in the App Store. But that's easier said than done in China after Beijing shut down the iBooks and iTunes movie stores in April. The next generation iPhone is expected to launch this fall potentially with a dual camera feature.
That may sound exciting to tech fans around the world, but some of Apple's cheaper rivals in China have already ruled it out.