Are Pc Makers Looking At A Price War?

With no incentive to trade up, shoppers are content to make do

The sign adorning the personal computer display at a Staples superstore in San Mateo, Calif., says it all: "Caution, falling prices." In recent weeks, Apple, Compaq, Sony, and Hewlett-Packard have all cut prices, offered greater rebates, or given away freebies such as a printer or scanner with every purchase of a desktop and monitor. And at least one major retailer says it will introduce another round of price cuts to the tune of $100-$200 on the weekend of Dec. 15 in hopes of clearing inventory buildup.

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