Is Apple Being Edged Out of China?

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China’s contribution to Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) sales in the last quarter has now been well documented, but if Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is to be believed, Windows Phone is edging the iPhone in the country.

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Windows Phone, which only made its debut in China two months ago with Nokia’s (NYSE:NOK) Lumia, already has a market share of 7 percent, according to Microsoft’s China chief executive Michel van der Bel. While Microsoft’s claims have not been independently verified, that would make the company larger than Apple’s share of 6 percent.

The CEO also expressed confidence that the market for his company’s smartphone software in China was set to grow further. “We’ve only just begun,” van der Bel told Dutch business magazine Emerce, adding that they hoped to invest more heavily in the country.

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android dominates China with a smartphone market share of about 69 percent. Samsung holds the mobile phone manufacturer lead with a 20 percent share, though most of its sales still come from non-smart devices.

Apple is also looking for a bigger push in what is its fastest growing market. The company is reportedly in talks with China Mobile (NYSE:CHL), the world’s largest carrier by number of subscribers, to carry the iPhone on its network. At the moment, the iPhone is available on China Telecom (NYSE:CHA) and China Unicom (NYSE:CHU).

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