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Sony Walkman production to stop, portable music player looses to iPod

Sony decides to end the production of its most celebrated portable music player, the Sony Walkman. The device that created quite a stir among young music lovers who wanted to carry their music wherever they went, does not sell today when the iPods are the in things.


The cassette based Walkman was built by the Japanese technology giant Sony in 1978 and sold 220 million units over 30- plus years. The product was a slow starter initially but later gathered pace and became a popular music device after the vinyl records started to vanish.


The music industry once was ruled by cassettes and the market soon shifted to CDs including Sony’s own Discman and other portable players based on CDs. And now the face of music largely favors the most advanced iPod. Walkman which is Sony’s most iconic product has changed the way people listen to music. Seeing people with big headphones was a common sight. Sony made music a portable entertainment with the Walkman.


Sony made no formal announcement to halt the shipment and production of the Walkman but attached a brief statement of the homepage of the Walkman saying “production finished.” The company decided that cassette Walkman will disappear altogether in Japan once the current inventory runs out while other tape players and recorder will remain. According to the official spokesman of Sony, the company will continue to sell the product overseas especially in Asia and Middle East where the demand for cassette Walkman is still not zero.


Sony Walkman’s last new tape came out in 2008 and the company announced that the production of the Walkman is outsourced to a Chinese contract manufacturer.