Sony Halts Walkman Distribution to Japan

After more than 30 years of producing the portable music player the Walkman, Sony has announced that they will stop producing the Walkman in Japan. And in an odd twist, the announcement came on the iPod’s 9th birthday, October 23, 2010.

The Sony Walkman was introduced on July 1, 1979 and was a major breakthrough, delivering a low-cost portable radio. In its first month, it only sold 3000 units. However, its growth over the following month was astronomical, as its sales increased ten-fold.  By the early 80s, the Walkman was a coveted item for everyone – over the course of 30 years, Sony sold 200 million units. It is arguably because of the Walkman’s popularity that portable music players became a part of our daily lives.

Similarly, when the iPod was released, it was largely ignored by the masses, but as time went on and newer, updated versions of the technology were released, it quickly became one of the most popular tech devices.  Some could argue that the iPod is the end-all be-all of portable music players.

But even so, people do still use the Walkman, even though not as frequently.  If you frequent a health club or gym, you’re likely to see at least one person carrying around a Walkman.

But fear not. In the US, one model of the Walkman will still be on shelves.

Categories: Gadgets and Gizmos

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