Why? I think it's very fair because it's a matter of overall vision, strategy and business. Apple might have harvested tons of money first couple of years, but they have lost the war and will erode into niche as they have with Windows. The fact that they can't sell their phones for a huge price because of their unwillingness to compete or whatever it is, is the problem of their own making. I think it's perfectly fair to compare. And btw, Apple is not "expensive" brand. They charge a lot, and use fancy stuff to try to separate themselves from others with design. They are still being built by the same factories, pretty much same materials and processors as other phones. A nice design doesn't make something a more expensive brand. It just makes their design nice (which is now pretty generic as well).
And btw, I think Android is actually raising the quality of phones that run Android in general and making everyone push technology forward. If you look by specs alone they are all competing to make cheaper phones with some pretty unbelievable specs. I'd say that's a plus for everyone and thanks to the fact that Android is so open anyone can use it so bigger competition. Even the Cricket or those pre-paid Android phones are pretty damn good for what they cost. I would say they are quite snappy and nice.
I think the reason they are losing massively all over is because the fad is fading away. They are behind in almost everything, same stale OS and same stale hardware with some minor changes. Android OEMs are bringing crazy diversity and technologies and people are choosing that over the same phone over and over.
My 2 cents.
Are we comparing the overall vision, strategy, and business of Apple and Google though? Both companies do things that the other doesn't (e.g. Google's search engine or Apple's range of all-in-one desktop computers). In terms of just smartphones, Google has their Nexus line and Apple has the iPhone. But what I see often are comparisons from many different Android smartphones to the iPhone. Individually, yes... the comparisons are fair. However, the odds are stacked against Apple when you lump all Android smartphones into one category regardless of the manufacturer.
What offsets this "unfairness" is Apple's success. So far, they've made a lot of money off the iPhone. Whether or not this success will continue may be in question when you consider the progress Android has made. As for my expensive brand comment, I meant that Apple doesn't sell cheap phones. I didn't mean their phones have the best quality on the market.
Personally, I don't like Apple's business practices. And I don't like their software either. The only thing I like is the design of the iPhone (with the exception of the iPhone 5). I love what Google has done with Android over the years. The only thing I dislike is deciding on which Android smartphone to buy since so many of them are good.
Anyway, this is a little off-topic so I'll try to get back to the main topic. It's no surprise that Apple isn't doing well in China. They'd have to lower their prices significantly to truly compete in that market. It's not the same as North America or Europe where most people buy the iPhone or another similarly-priced Android smartphone.