Apple appoints Michel Coulomb as head of sales in the world’s 3 biggest smartphone market

The moves comes midst Apple’s efforts to gain traction in the price sensitive Indian smartphone market, where its market share is under 3%.

On Tuesday, with an eye on the world’ third biggest smartphone market, U.S. tech giant Apple Inc appointed Michel Coulomb as its top sales executive.

Coulomb, an Apple veteran since 2003 who was most recently the managing director for Apple for South Asia, will be replacing Sanjay Kaul, said a source familiar with the move.

Coulomb and Kaul were not immediately reachable. Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Apple has been trying hard to penetrate the price sensitive Indian market where its market share of the smartphone segment is under 3%.

As per data in it regulatory filing, its sales in India have risen by 17% to $1.81 billion (116.19 billion rupees) in the fiscal year to March 2017, much slower than the 50% growth in the previous year.

Apple has also sought tax breaks and incentives from the Indian government to expand its manufacturing activity in India.

On Monday, the firm was forced to increase the prices of its smartphones in India by an average of 3.5% after the government raised taxes on imported phones, except the low-cost SE model that it being assembled through Wistron, Apple’s Taiwanese contract manufacturer, in Bengaluru.

India’s price sensitive smartphone market is currently being dominated by South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Chinese companies such as Oppo, Xiaomi, and Vivo.

Although Apple’s iPhones remain somewhat aspirational for a rising middle class, but their asking price has kept them out of the reach of the masses.

($1 = 64.1500 Indian rupees)

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