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Compaq cuts flat-panel prices

Price reductions bring the company's lowest-priced flat-panel display under $1,000.

Compaq today announced price cuts on its flat-panel and traditional computer monitors, bringing its lowest-priced LCD display under $1,000.

Compaq has reduced its TFT450 14.5-inch flat-panel display by 19 percent, from $1,167 to $949. The Houston-based PC maker is also discounting its TFT500 15-inch flat panel, from $1,557 to $1,199, a 23-percent discount.

Flat panels, which are desktop versions of the thin screens found on notebooks PCs, were once only bought by high-end financial and medical customers. But as prices continue to drop, analysts believe they will take a growing portion of the retail market as well.

Although not expected to rival the 7.6 million CRT (cathode ray tube) units sold each month in the United States, analysts expect the sub-$1,000 flat panel to spur mass market demand for the high-end monitors. In fact, competitors such as NEC and IBM have already introduced models below $1,000.

"Crossing the $1,000 price point is significant as this figure represents a purchase barrier for many managers," noted a recent Stanford Resources' survey of U.S. PC monitor shipments.

Compaq also reduced prices on its CRT monitors. The V90 19-inch monitor was discounted from $779 to $530. The PC maker's 17-inch CRT monitor was cut from $595 to $530.