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Companies to monitor CRT price cuts

After a year of critically low supplies of 15- and 17-inch CRT displays that have kept monitor costs high, the pipeline is finally opening up, possibly clearing the way for lower prices.

After a year of critically low supplies of 15- and 17-inch CRT displays that have kept monitor costs high, the pipeline is finally opening up, possibly clearing the way for lower prices.

High demand and a shortage of critical components such as glass have kept CRT monitors stuck stubbornly at high price levels throughout the last year. Now, the situation is reversing itself with an excess of both 15- and 17-inch displays, leading to a glut in the market, according to the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Japan's largest economic daily newspaper.

Japanese manufacturers of the displays found with most home PCs are some of the largest in the world. Japanese vendors also supply tubes--the critical component in a CRT display--to manufacturers in Taiwan and Korea. But with displays piling up unsold, major Taiwan-based purchasers are reportedly beginning to demand lower prices.

If prices are in fact cut, consumers can expect to see those reductions passed along later this year. Demand has also slowed for CD-ROM drives, particularly quad-speed models.