SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Apple Computer Inc. is ready to make bulky cathode ray tube displays things of the past.
"We will be the first with all LCD displays in the industry," chief executive Steve Jobs said Monday in opening Apple's week-long conference for thousands of software developers.
Apple already is selling a pair of flat-panel liquid-crystal displays, a 15-inch and a 22-inch, both of which were lowered in price Monday, to $599 and $2,499, respectively. Apple also will introduce a new 17-inch display for $999 early next month. LCD monitors offer higher resolution and take up far less space than traditional PC displays.
The decision doesn't involve Apple's line of popular iMac computers, the colorful desktops that combine a computer and monitor all-in-one. Those models, which feature a 15-inch screen, will remain the only vestige of CRTs, Apple officials said.
Citing heavy feedback from consumers, Jobs also said the company now is shipping all Mac computers with its latest OS X operating system, two months ahead of what the company had planned. Previously, users had to buy the $129 software separately. A version of OS X for servers also was released Monday.
The new OS X is taking center stage at the developers conference in San Jose. It is the Cupertino-based computer maker's first major platform overhaul since it introduced the Macintosh in 1984.
After a bruising first quarter in which Apple reported its first loss in three years, Apple returned to profitability in the second quarter, helped by a new line of products and the March 24 release of OS X.
The company also is hoping to gain market share - it now claims less than 5 percent of the nation's PC market - by opening up retail stores in high-traffic shopping areas. The company opened its first two stores of 25 planned over the weekend in McLean, Va. and Glendale.
Jobs said the store openings drew 7,700 visitors, some of whom stood in line for three hours to get in. The stores sold a combined total of $559,000 of merchandise, he said.
The momentum of Apple's new products and retail stores has generated more enthusiasm among Apple developers.
"Without developers seeing that Apple is a viable platform, they're not going to develop applications for it, and we're seeing the opposite of that," said Frank Falco, chief executive of Recall Design, an Australian company that creates online applications.
Apple shares were up 3 cents to close at $23.56 in trading Monday on the Nasdaq Stock Market.
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