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Apple's iPhone dips to fifth place in Chinese smartphone market

Apple continued losing ground in the Chinese smartphone market in May, seeing its share drop to fifth place amid tough local competition, according to research data published on Wednesday.

The iPhone's marketshare fell to 10.8 percent from 12 percent a year prior, Counterpoint Research told Bloomberg. The top four smartphone makers —controlling 53 percent of the market —were all local companies, namely Huawei, Vivo, Oppo, and Xiaomi.

Huawei in fact improved its lead to 17.3 percent, while Oppo grew rapidly, almost doubling its share year-over-year to 11 percent.

Although Apple has identified China as an important market, one potentially poised to eclipse the United States, the company saw overall sales in the "Greater China" region —including Hong Kong and Taiwan —drop 26 percent year-over-year in the March quarter.

June-quarter results are set to be announced on July 26, and are likely to contain more bad news about China. The company is guiding to between $41 billion and $43 billion in global revenues, a substantial fall from the $49.6 billion achieved in Q3 2015.