The long-expected LCD price war has begun, with NEC-Mitsubishi firing the first shots.

The company has announced a series of hefty price cuts in monitors across its LCD range. The new prices come into effect this month.

John McGrath, UK managing director at NEC-Mitsubishi, said: "By removing industry price barriers, we aim not only to create better LCD accessibility for our traditional target audiences, but also to present the benefits of the technology to new market sectors."

Predicted drop Tom Martin, director of IBM's flat panel monitor programme, predicted significant price drops in the LCD-monitor market this year, during the Stanford Resources Flat Information Displays conference last year.

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.

Falling figures The soon-to-ship 17-inch LCD1700M+ will cost £799. NEC-Mitsubishi has sliced £400 from the price of its sRGB-equipped 18-inch monitor, the LCD1830. This now costs £899. Finally, the LCD1850DX has dropped in price by £200, and now costs £1,649.

NEC-Mitsubishi is a joint venture between NEC and Mitsubishi Electric. Both companies are working together in order to reduce manufacturing costs, share technologies and increase sales.

Other manufacturers are expected to follow suit – including Samsung, the firm Apple invested $100 million in last year.