Sony Ceases Production of the Walkman…Apparently They Were Still Making Those

Sony announced Monday that its classic Walkman portable cassette player will no longer be produced in Japan, effectively signaling the end of the device’s life. {the daily WD}

We would suggest a moment of silence if we weren’t too busy wondering if we were the only ones who had assumed the Walkman was already out of production. Apparently Sony has still been making Walkmans, though they have become mostly obsolete with the advent of Mp3 players – namely, the Apple iPod, which was introduced around this time of year in 2001.

Dying, but not dead yet

Sony will continue producing Walkman devices in China and distributing them in the United States, Europe and some Asian countries, and the more updated (but still relatively old news) Discman is still made by Sony. Digital Walkmans that display lyrics and have improved digital noise-canceling technology are also available, though we wonder why Sony doesn’t just pull the proverbial plug. The LA Times spoke to an unnamed source at Sony who claims that someone out there is providing a “consistent but small demand.”

The Walkman, which saw its first model launched 31 years ago in 1979 at a retail price of $200, is largely regarded as the first big step in portable music – the ground work on which the Discman and iPod were created and thus an incredibly important gadget in the music biz. About 220 million have been sold worldwide to date. {The Washington Post}

Though the Walkman will likely be remembered most for making music widely portable, the fact that the device marked the beginning of customized music lists is equally as important. The Washington Post calls the Walkman the “father of the mix tape.” In this case, the Walkman’s reach has far exceeded the boundaries of music and entertainment, as these days you can customize nearly anything – including chocolate bars.

Now let’s take that moment of silence for the Walkman.






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