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3:10 PMNo More Walkman; Sony's Stopping Production
No More Walkman; Sony's Stopping Production on this Pop Culture Icon
Sony's 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 either.
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 longer either.
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 that word.
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.
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