FORTUNE -- "How Samsung is beating Apple in China," read the headline on the Reuters newswire Friday. The piece quoted Tim Cook high up describing China as a huge opportunity for Apple "over the arc of time."
"But time looks to be on the side of rival Samsung Electronics Co Ltd," the story continued, cleverly using Cook's words against him and noting that Apple's revenue in Greater China fell 43% sequentially last quarter and 14% year over year.
"It's not totally clear why that occurred," Cook said on a conference call with analysts.
The Reuters piece -- written by Melanie Lee and Miyoung Kim from Seoul and Guangzhou, China -- would have you believe that the reason it occurred was as plain as the nose on Tim Cook's face: Samsung.
But data released the same day by IDC and Strategy Analytics tell a different story. It's not just Samsung that's eating Apple's lunch in China, it's LG, ZTE, Lenovo, Alcatel, Huawei and others too small and numerous to name in charts of the world's top smartphone vendors.
Although Samsung continues to lead the world in the number of smartphones shipped -- 72.4 million in the June quarter, according to IDC, more than double Apple's (AAPL) 31.2 million -- Samsung is no longer the growth leader.
LG and ZTE's shipments more than doubled year over year last quarter, albeit from a much smaller base than Samsung's. Others may have grown even faster, according to IDC's press release:
"Several vendors, including Alcatel and Huawei, had high double- and triple-digit growth rates in the second quarter for their Android-based offerings shipped to high-growth countries such as China and India. In 2Q13, these vendors from outside the Top 5 accounted for 44.8% of the overall shipment volume, up from 42.2% in the same quarter one year ago."
"The story is no longer Apple versus Samsung," Forrester's Bryan Wang, told the New York Times. "Going forward, they will both face similar challenges."
Consumer protection? Negative marketing? Negotiating ploy? Payback? Squeeze?
FORTUNE -- The drumbeat hasn't stopped.
Not only has China's Central TV been running regular follow ups to its March 15 expose on Apple's (AAPL) iPhone repair policies, but on Thursday People's Daily -- the Communist Party's official propaganda organ -- attacked the company for the fourth day in a row, devoting half a page to negative articles.
"One reported on a patent infringement suit lodged against Apple MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 28, 2013 2:17 PM ET
China is the world's largest mobile market. Now its manufacturers want a piece of America's consumers.
By Kurt Wagner, reporter
FORTUNE -- It's no secret that China is a hotbed for mobile growth, particularly when it comes to smartphones. In fact, China is currently the top smartphone market in the world, accounting for 26.5% of all smartphone shipments last year, according to IDC. Not surprisingly, the country is home to a MOREFeb 13, 2013 9:00 AM ET
If you're the world's largest company - with nearly $600 billion in market value - getting bigger is a tough challenge. But if Apple can learn how to charm the world's largest population, the possibilities are limitless.
By Bill Powell, editor-at-large
FORTUNE -- Tim Cook, Apple's reserved and soft-spoken CEO, has a tendency to wax euphoric about the China market and his company's place in it.
When asked last year by an MOREFortune Editors - Oct 11, 2012 5:00 AM ET
Up nearly 82% from 2010's 47.5 million, overtaking Nokia for the first time
DigiTimes, a Taipai-based daily that keeps as close tabs as any publication on the Asian supply chain, posted its estimates Tuesday for where it thinks the top 10 smartphone manufacturers will be at year's end.
Although Apple (AAPL) will have shipped the most units -- 86.4 million, up 81.9% from 2010 -- according to DigiTimes analyst Luke Lin, it's being MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Sep 6, 2011 8:12 AM ET
Despite higher prices, sales to end users worldwide more than doubled
Gartner issued its "mobile devices" report for the first quarter of 2011, two weeks after rival IDC's.
Here's what Gartner had to say about Apple (AAPL):
Apple sold 16.9 million units to end users worldwide, more than doubling its sales of iPhones year-on-year. This market-beating growth came from all regions: the iPhone is now available in 90 countries from 186 CSPs [communications MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 19, 2011 11:21 AM ET
A second look at the claim that Apple's four-year conquest of the mobile market is adrift
Business Insider's Henry Blodget may come to regret -- if he doesn't already -- using the phrase "dead in the water" to describe the performance of Apple's (AAPL) iPhone in a comScore market share survey that seemed to show, as Blodget's headline put it, that "Android is destroying everyone."
The comScore survey to which Blodget was MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 12, 2011 5:26 AM ET
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