Asia Bizz: The popular iPhone and iPad maker, Apple, has lost its share in the Chinese smartphone market for a second straight quarter between October and December. The company faced losses in front of the local brands that are cheaper;  some shop keepers have also held back the sales until after the launch of the iPhone 4S in January.

China is considered as the world’s largest mobile market and it hasn’t been easy for Apple. At present Apple is also dealing with a lawsuit with one of the local companies over the name of the iPad.

The number of mobile phone subscribers in China has gone up to 1 billion this year and competition has become cut throat among Samsung, Nokia, Apple and the domestic companies ZTE Corp and Huawei Technologies. Apple’s share in the Chinese market came down from 10.4 percent to 7.5 percent in the three months between July and September.

In the last quarter, Samsung left behind Nokia taking 23.3 percent share of the market which was three times the share of market. Last year the share of Nokia came down drastically. The Chinese companies are now slowly shifting towards the higher end of the market which unveils more feature-packed smartphones.