Apple Inc launched its latest iPad in China last week but failed to create frenzy unlike the launch of iPhone 4 earlier this year, sending out a message that consumers prefer brands like Samsung and HTC that come up with flashy new models at regular intervals.
Apple launched its new iPad in China recently after settling trademark dispute with Proview Technology by paying $60 million but it received lukewarm response from the consumers.
The dip in the sales of iPhone 4S between April-to-June in China, which is Apple's second-largest market, has made some analysts think that the leading smartphone maker is losing out to companies that continue to make new models with great features.
"The (iPhone 4S) model is a little bit too long in the tooth when compared to other phones with better specs," TZ Wong, a Beijing-based analyst from research firm IDC, told Reuters.
"To put it plainly, consumers are getting a little bit tired of the look of the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S," he added.
Apple's sales from greater China, which includes Taiwan and Hong Kong, totaled $5.7 billion for its third quarter ended June, an unexpectedly steep drop of $2.2 billion from the January-March period, reported Reuters.
Helped by its latest smartphone Galaxy S3, Samsung posted a record quarterly profit of $5.9 billion earlier this month. HTC's One X has got good response from mobile phone users in China and other parts of the world.
"The S III and One X are outselling the iPhone now because people like their wider screens, better cameras and the apps are pretty good," a salesperson at an electronics store in Hong Kong that carries phones from Apple, Samsung, HTC and Nokia, told Reuters.
Smartphones made by Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, ZTE Corp and Xiaomi are also said to be gaining grounds in China.
It may be recalled that that Apple Inc. was forced to cancel the launch of its iPhone 4S in China earlier this year over concerns regarding the size of the crowd waiting outside its store but the introduction of smartphones with great specifications by other rival companies seems to have overshadowed its products.
However, Apple is expected to bounce back with the launch of its next generation smartphone iPhone 5 later this year. Speculations are doing the rounds that it will be launched in October though the company is yet to make official announcement.
(With Inputs from Reuters)