No More Walkman; Sony's Stopping Production on this Pop Culture Icon
stopping production on the once gotta-have-it Walkman portable cassette
player. This is understandable, even our grandmothers have moved on to
at least CD players if not iPods. Sony says sales have been dwindling
and after the current batch is done, they will no longer be producing
the Walkman cassette players. They will still be producing the portable
CD and MP3 players even though those aren't doing too well sales-wise
This is the second 'old-school' device that Sony's stopped production
on this year. In April this year, Sony said it would no longer be
producing floppy discs.
A Chinese company will still be producing the odd unit of the Walkman
portable cassette player for the nostalgia junkies (or for people who
are just that scared to give up their cassettes). However, most
educated guesses would indicate that that won't go on for too much
Brief history of the Sony Walkman portable cassette player:
1978 - Engineer Nobutoshi Kihara built a portable cassette player for
Sony co-chairman Akio Morita so he could listen to his operas during
his long and frequent trans-Pacific flights.
1979 - The Walkman was marketed as 'Walkman' in Japan and the
Soundabout in various other countries including the US, the Freestyle
in Sweden and the Stowaway in the UK. Morita hated the word 'Walkman'
but relented after his juniors convinced him that it would be too
expensive to change all the marketing that had already been done with
July 1979 - The TPS-L2, a metal silver-and-blue device went on sale in
Japan. It was the world's first low-cost portable stereo. It had a
'hotline' button which would active a built-in microphone. Users could
talk to each other over the music and recording the talk would
partially override the content on the cassette.
1984 - Sony released the Walkman Professional WM-D6C. This device was
capable of recording and was touted to be as close in quality to
professional audio recording equipment.
1989 - On the 10th anniversary of the original Walkman, Sony launches
the playback-only WM-DD9. It is the only auto-reverse Walkman in
history to use a two-motor, quartz-locked, disc drive system.
Every five years, Sony would release a new Walkman model on July 1st
with an improvement over previous models. This however will stop now
due to the cease in production.