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Platt claims pricing pressures are easing

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HP's Lew Platt told analysts yesterday that PC pricing pressures are easing, but he's cutting an isolated figure as the rest of the industry readies for the usual round of pre-Comdex, pre-Christmas price cuts. IBM's leading the pack with its new £350 ($599) Aptiva E Series system, the D1N, available during November. "It's the perfect system for families ready to give the kids their own PC," said Brian Connors, vice president IBM Aptiva. The 300MHz MMX-Enhanced processor comes with 32MB to 256MB DRAM, a 3.2GB hard drive, 56Kbps modem and the Lotus SmartSuite of applications. Dell was next, announcing price cuts of up to 13 per cent on the Dimensions range for consumers and small businesses. The biggest discounts apply to the higher-end systems, the XPS series with 400MHz and 450MHz Pentium IIs, DVD and high capacity drives. Dell attributed the price cuts to lower component costs and according to Paul Bell, senior vice president of the home and small business group. "Our direct model enables us to keep low component inventories that enable us to give immediate savings when component prices are reduced," he said. Compaq and the rest are expected to follow suite in the coming weeks. ® Click for more stories Click for story index

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