Compaq faces up to screen makers

PC market leader Compaq is gunning for dominance in monitors.
Written by Martin Veitch, Contributor

Although the US giant already claims to ship more monitors than any of the specialists, the firm is now turning its attention to aftersales with fresh vigour. The move comes on the back of a new aggressively priced line that includes its first Compaq-designed screens. Previous monitors were OEM designs licensed from ADI, Samsung, Philips and others.

The new products are the15-inch V50 (£265 + VAT), 17-inch V70 (£530 + VAT) and 17-inch P70 (£710 + VAT). The Trinitron-based P-70 has fault management capabilities that lets the monitor report diagnostics back to the host PC and LAN administrator as part of the firm's Intelligent Manageability technology. Both 17-inch units have a compact rear cabling design to save space, are TCO'95 certified and come with on-screen controls.

"We're all aware of Compaq's new strategy and we're watching them very carefully," said Alan Chai, general manager of monitor maker, ADI. "I think there's room for them. They can use their purchasing power and it looks as if they have lowered their pricing quite a lot, although it's still quite high. What they have to worry about is conflict with suppliers - whether clone PC makers will want to take something with a Compaq badge."

Compaq can be contacted by telephone on 0181 332 3000.

PCDN Comment: Compaq is a powerful brand with a strong channel blend but it's efforts to break into fresh markets have met with mixed fortunes. In laser printers it was forced to make a hasty exit after poor sales and faulty products; in internetworking it is unproved. The monitor market requires a flexible supplier with competitive prices, and neither are Compaq strengths.

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