Apple has been particularly focusing on the Chinese market as it sees a lot of potential for growth in the world’s most lucrative smartphone market. However, local rivals are giving the company a tough time. Under increasing pressure from brands like Huawei and Xiaomi, latest data shows that the iPhone lost its fourth place and fell to fifth in the Chinese smartphone market.

Research company Canalys released data which showed that Apple shipped 43.8 million iPhones in China last year which represented an 18.2 percent decline year-over-year. This is what caused the iPhone to slide down to the fifth position in the country’s smartphone market. Apple was overtaken by Xiaomi even though that company saw its shipments fall 21 percent to 51.4 million units.

Huawei predictably led the market in China by shipping 76.2 million units last year while Oppo came in second place with 73.2 million units. Vivo rounded up the top three with shipments of 63.2 million units. Even Apple has begun accepting that the Chinese smartphone market, while very lucrative, is “not without challenges,” at least the company’s CEO Tim Cook agreed to that much recently.

Apple revealed in its December quarter results that its revenues in China were down 8 percent. One of the reasons why the iPhone is struggling to gain ground in China is that it’s priced much higher than the Android handsets all of its rivals are selling in the country.

Filed in Apple >Cellphones. Read more about . Source: canalys