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In China, a slow shift away from Apple's iPhone, iPad

According to a new report, Chinese customers seem to be moving toward devices made by Samsung and other manufacturers – and away from the Apple iPhone and iPad. 

By Matthew Shaer / August 23, 2013

People walk past a mobile phone store selling Apple and Samsung products in Wuhan, China, on April 18, 2013.

Reuters

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For months now, Apple has lost ground in the Chinese tablet and smart phone market to competitors such as Samsung and Lenovo. 

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And now local manufacturers that make accessories for the iPad and iPhone are starting to inch away from Apple. According to a new report in Bloomberg, "thousands" of Chinese companies are diversifying their offerings, concentrating in part on accessories for more affordable hand-held devices. 

"The market is now moving toward Samsung and brands from China, so we’ve enlarged our product line," Vincent Kwok, chief executive officer of a Chinese-based accessory maker called Magic Kingdom, told Bloomberg. "Expanding our product line has reduced the risk for us. To focus on Apple is too dangerous."

Apple's problems in China are indicative of a wider issue for the company, which has been accused of not innovating fast enough under the direction of CEO Tim Cook. Last year, Apple released the iPhone 5 – a critically-acclaimed, top-selling device that still managed to miss many analyst estimates. Next month the Cupertino company is widely expected to release a pair of new iPhones: A new flagship device and a cheaper handset, possibly called the iPhone 5C

But there remains concern that the phones, which would likely resemble the iPhone 5, may not be enough of a step forward for Apple.

Which is not to say that Apple doesn't still have a few tricks up its sleeve. Reports in recent weeks have indicated that the company may release a gold-colored iPhone – in the past, iPhones shipped only in either black or white – or even an iPhone 5C with a scratch-resistant exterior.

Whether that will be enough for consumers in China – or the rest of the world, for that matter – remains to be seen.  

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