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HP cuts price on DVD-rewritable drives

Hewlett-Packard lowers the cost of its DVD+RW drives by $100 as the holiday selling season approaches.

With the holiday selling season approaching, Hewlett-Packard has cut the price on two of its DVD-rewritable drives.

HP on Monday lowered by $100 the cost of its dvd200i and dvd200e, effective immediately. The 200i is an internal drive and will now sell for $349, while the dvd200e is an external drive and will cost $449. HP spokesman Dean Sanderson said the price drop indicates the drives are selling well and the company expects the upcoming holiday season to be significant for selling more units.

"The first couple hundred (drives) always cost more," said Sanderson. "Price cuts are typical, as you ramp (volumes), you can spread out fixed costs...this will be a big retail holiday season."

Sanderson added that he expected more PCs to incorporate the drives. Two HP PCs come with the dvd200i DVD+RW drive, while one of HP's upcoming Media Center PCs--expected this holiday season--will also come with a DVD+RW drive.

A PC under the Compaq name with a DVD+RW will also be introduced as the holidays approach. Other PC makers will probably follow suit, incorporating DVD-rewritable drives as an added temptation to buyers. This year's holiday season, typically the most significant time of year for manufacturers, follows on a lackluster back-to-school period, and PC makers will do what they can to give sales a lift.

The price cuts bode well for eventual mass consumer acceptance of DVD-rewritable drives. Analysts said price is the second biggest barrier to mass adoption, next to compatibility with DVD players.

HP's new pricing is similar to that of new drives introduced earlier this month by Sony. The new Sony drives, however, can read and write DVD+RW, DVD+R and DVD-RW and DVD-R discs, while the HP drives read and write to only DVD+RW and DVD+R discs.