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Flat-panels priced for holidays

NEC-Mitsubishi Electronics Display of America is looking to give consumers more reasons to upgrade to a flat-panel monitor this holiday season.

NEC-Mitsubishi Electronics Display of America is looking to give consumers more reasons to upgrade to a flat-panel monitor this holiday season.

The Itasca, Ill.-based subsidiary of NEC-Mitsubishi Electric Visual Systems announced on Monday that it would slash prices on a range of flat-panel monitors in part of a sales drive. NEC-Mitsubishi Electric Visual Systems, which began North America operations in July 2000, is a Tokyo-based joint venture of NEC and Mitsubishi Electric.

"These latest price cuts underscore our determination to bring LCD flat-panel desktop monitors further into mainstream consumer and corporate markets," said Chris Connery, NEC-Mitsubishi Electronics Display of America spokesman.

NEC cut the price of its 15-inch monitors by $90 to $359.99. The company cut its 17-inch monitors by up to $120 and its 18-inch monitors by up to $150. The price of a 19-inch monitor was lowered by $350 to $949.99 and a 21-inch monitor by $850 to $2,799.99.

While the price cuts are not the most aggressive in the industry, they are part of a trend that research firm DisplaySearch expects will continue throughout the rest of the year. Price cuts will occur until the fourth quarter of next year but will be less, according to DisplaySearch analyst Ross Young.

"Vendors will continue to make significant cuts in October to take advantage of falling panel prices while positioning themselves for strong seasonal sales," said Young. The cuts should cause faster growth rates of 17-, 18-, 19-inch and larger monitors, which suppliers are looking to for added steam as growth for 15-inch monitors slow, Young said. Liquid-crystal display panels are the main and most expensive component in flat-panel monitors.

DisplaySearch expects the average price of a 15-inch monitor to shrink from $387 this quarter to $293 in the fourth quarter of next year.