The FINANCIAL — According to the Caucasus Research Resource Center’s data in 2010 only 23 percent of Georgian households owned a personal computer.
The main consumers of computers in the country are people from the age group 16-30.
The largest retailers of electronic goods, Elit Electronics and Techno Boom sell 500-800 computers monthly. The sale’s rate is increasing yearly, company representatives claim.
“The majority of customers from 16 to 30 ask for computers configured for games,” said Eter Maisuradze, Purchasing Manager of Techno Boom. “People up to 45 want computers with strong graphic configuration. But we do have some exceptions, when people from the age of 45 onwards buy computers also.”
Giorgi Chlaidze, Head of the Marketing and Sales Department of Elit Electronics said that the situation is more or less similar in their network.
Currently the leader of computers’ world sales is portable computers. The sale of laptop computers has significantly increased in comparison to previous years.
“Nowadays 60 percent of our sales are made up by portable computers and only 40 percent are desktop computers,” Chlaidze said. “Usually it is people from 30 who buy notebooks, unlike young consumers.”
The sales rate of portable and desktop computers are equal at Techno Boom, but representatives of small shops at trade centre Kidobani say that currently they still mostly sell desktop computers.
The average price of a portable computer in Georgia is 1,000-1,200 GEL (600 USD), while for a desktop computer it is 600 GEL. The Georgian population tends to buy cheaper computers. Computers from 1,200 GEL are seldom sold. iPad sales have significantly increased too. The average price of an iPad in Georgia is 2,000 GEL.
“People of all social levels are coming here, but most of them want to buy computers as cheap as possible,” said Giorgi Barnovi, Sales Consultant at Kidobani. “They buy systematic computers for 450 GEL and laptops – for 1,100 GEL.”
Leasing is very popular in Georgia. As shop representatives say almost half of the computers are sold by leasing.
“Actually lots of people ask for the leasing service, but the final decision depends on the bank, not on us,” Maisurazde said. “There are some cases of banks refusing leasing.”
American brand HP is the most popular computer brand in Georgia. In addition to that computers of Asus and Dell are sold the most.
“HP is the ultimate leader of our computer sales,” Chlaidze said. “As well as HP, Elit Electronics is official representative of such big brands as Acer, Dell and Asus. We import computers and accessories from Taiwan, Dubai, Thailand, Japan, the USA etc.
“The favourite brand of the Georgian population is HP, but products of other worldwide companies Asus, Dell, Sony and Toshiba are also in demand,” Maisuradze said.
Most of the shops in Georgia sell computers with a one year guarantee.
Computer accessories like mouse, keyboard, speakers and web camera cost quite little in the country. Demand for them is high. The average price of a mouse is 10 GEL, a keyboard – 20 GEL, loud speakers – 20 GEL, and web camera – 40 GEL.
Computer services are quite popular in Georgia, but the country has problems with programme licensing. The vast majority of computer consumers use unlicensed programmes. Prices between installing licensed and unlicensed programmes differ significantly.
Axoft is one of the few companies which provide consumers in the country with licensed programmes.
“An antivirus is the most demanded programme at our company,” Tamar Migineishvili, Sales Manager of Axoft told The FINANCIAL. “The price of installing licensed antivirus Kaspersky is 55 GEL. Microsoft programmes are also selling quite well. For example Microsoft Home costs 295 GEL and Microsoft Office Pro 2010 about 2,500 GEL.”
“The prices are quite high, but we have enough clients, especially corporate ones,” she noted.
Compared to the prices of licensed programmes, unlicensed ones cost less. There are lots of individual and mostly self-educated programmers who offer the installation of Windows, Antivirus, Microsoft Office and some other programmes for just 30-40 GEL. Installing Windows separately costs 20 GEL, an antivirus – 5-10 GEL, and programmes like Photoshop, Corel – 5 GEL.