The average price of flat-panel monitors has halved over the past year, according to IDC. And thanks to supply finally starting to catch up with demand, combined with the slump in PC sales growth, LCD monitors prices look set to continue to fall.
"Flat-panel monitors are going to become all the rage," said Roger Kay, IDC research manager for PC hardware.
The steepest price erosion for LCDs is in the 15-inch monitor market, where prices dropped around 30 per cent in 2000, according to IDC. During the year they also grabbed around 30 per cent market share.
For example, last week Dell started selling 15-inch flat-panel monitors for $499. The 1503FP monitor is part of a package - it must be bought with a Dell OptiPlex desktop or Precision workstation - otherwise it costs $549 if you buy it alone. This same monitor cost $999 in September 2000, and $699 in February this year.
In the same week, California-based Viewsonic dropped the price of its 15-inch VE150 Viewpanel to $499, and NEC-Mitsubishi chopped its 15-inch monitor from $749 to $549.
Fourteen-inch monitors also saw a substantial price drop in 2000 - falling 28 per cent during the year, and accounting for 33 per cent of the market.
In total, sales for TFT screens reached $15 billion last year, up 33 per cent on 1999.
A year ago, it seemed LCD manufacturers couldn't churn the products out fast enough - and most of the supply was gobbled up for laptops, meaning desktop LCD monitors stayed expensive. Now, not only are more countries, such as Taiwan, making them in volume, but overall demand for computers has also fallen.
The result is a more competitive market, with flat panel monitors not much more expensive than CRTs. Consumers can look forward to prices continuing to drop over the next couple of years, according to Kay.
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