IBM Drops Flat-Panel Monitor Prices

SAN FRANCISCO (04/24/2000) - It's a twist on conventional wisdom: When you're buying a monitor, you can't get one too rich or too thin.

Despite the fact that flat-panel displays are still costly, prices are gradually drifting down from the stratosphere. IBM Corp. releases today three new flat-panel displays priced as low as $979--its lowest flat-panel monitor price ever, according to IBM representatives.

Not only do flat-panel displays take up less space than hulking CRT monitors do, they offer higher screen quality and consume far less power.

IBM's new entries are the 15-inch T54A, priced at $979, and the 17-inch T74A, which costs $2529. A high-end 18-inch T86A flat-panel monitor also debuts, priced at $3199.

The monitors will be available in late May, and can be purchased directly from IBM's ShopIBM Web site.

According to market researcher DisplaySearch, flat-panel monitors represented 5 percent of the 96 million monitors in use in 1999. The company's researchers say flat-panel display prices will continue to drop over time, but will remain too pricey to challenge CRTs.

"Right now [CRT] monitors are just too cheap" to be threatened by flat-panel models, says Sam Matsuno, senior vice president of DisplaySearch. With flat-panel displays still priced around $1000, consumers just aren't biting.

The percentage of flat-panel displays expected to be in use in 2005 more than doubles to 12 percent. The price of a standard 15-inch flat-panel display will drop to $600, according to DisplaySearch.

"This is a very young market with huge potential," Matsuno says. Flat-panel display growth will increase in niche markets such as financial services and health care organizations.

Flat-Panel for the Masses

The 15-inch T54A flat-panel monitor is aimed at members of the business crowd who are looking to display business applications such as word processing, spreadsheets, and graphics with razor-sharp clarity. Both the T54A and T74A support resolutions up to 1024 by 768.

IBM says its 17- and 18-inch displays are best suited for high-end graphics.

Each comes with a tilt stand and ships in either pearl white or jet black. The 18-inch T86A supports resolutions up to 1280 by 1024. It features tilt and rotate functions, so you can choose to view an image in portrait or landscape orientation.

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