Shipments decline by 11.7 percent to 36.3 million over the year, with a 20 percent tumble in the last quarter.
Apple wasn't alone is losing market share in China, however.
The California-based firm commanded just a 9.1 percent of the Chinese smartphone sector a year ago, placing it fifth among all makers, Beijing News reported today, citing a publication from market researcher IDC.
Apple iPhone shipments fell 19.9 percent in China during Q4 2018, or Apple's fiscal Q1, according to IDC.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said when Apple announced its revenue miss in January that almost all of the revenue miss can be attributed to China. China's Oppo and Vivo made modest gains to rank second and third, respectively, followed by Apple.
Rep. Walter B. Jones Jr
Bush to set a plan for beginning phase-out of U.S. troops in Iraq on Capitol Hill June 16, 2005 in Washington, DC. Joe Anne Jones and her husband Walter have one daughter, Ashley Elizabeth Jones.
Apple no longer breaks out detailed numbers on iPhone shipments in its quarterly results, meaning that surveys and channel checks by the likes of IDC are often the clearest indicators of shifts in sales. But when it comes to India, there have been multiple reports that Apple may start manufacturing more smartphones in the country.
IDC said the iPhone's high price specifically "led to the decline of Apple's domestic market", while the increased strength of Huawei's brand and its flagship phone's "excellent technology'" helped it continue to widen the gap over Apple. This means that competitively priced, feature-packed phones have caused problems for the iPhone which has become more expensive over time.
Apple slashed down prices of its latest iPhones by as much as 20 per cent.
Revenue from sales of Macs, Apple's wearables, home products and various accessories also sold well during the quarter. The iPhone maker reported quarterly revenue of $13.1 billion in the Greater China region, down from roughly $18 billion one year earlier.
Apple still relies on China to produce many of its products, so it will be watching the trade negotiations between China and the USA closely.