Apple is dumping CRTs (cathode ray tube) for LCDs (liquid crystal displays) in a bid to slim down its monitor line-up.

The company will switch to sleeker flat-panel monitors, according to US distribution sources.

It means the scrapheap for Apple's £349 17-inch CRT, the sole CRT in Apple's monitor range. Apple's existing range of LCD monitors includes the popular 15-inch Studio Display priced at £579, and the £2,299 22-inch Cinema Display.

Analysts have warned that Apple's CRT off-load could precipitate price rises for new Macs with LCD displays. However, with recent news of a LCD price war, it could be the best time to dump CRTs in favour of something flatter.

NEC-Mitsubishi announced a series of price cuts in its LCD monitor range earlier this month which has sparked-off a price war, with other retailers expected to follow suit.

The company has cut prices across the range. Its 15-inch entry-level LCD1530V drops to £399 from £549. Its multimedia 15-inch falls to £449 from £589, while its digital interface model drops by £120 to £559.

US Apple-distribution sources report that at least one other Apple LCD monitor is expected in June or July – possibly 17 inches or 18 inches in size. Apple was unavailable for comment.