Feature

The Walkman and what might have been

Sony has stopped making the Walkman personal cassette player.

Sony made a surprise announcement that it has ceased production and sale of the iconic Walkman personal cassette player, said the Associated Press. The surprise is that Sony was still making the device, which in the 1980s “changed lifestyles by popularizing music on the go.” Demand for the Walkman, which “was groundbreaking in its day,” is now “largely limited to elderly users” in Japan.

Fittingly enough, the announcement of the Walkman’s demise came one day before the ninth anniversary of the iPod’s introduction, said Casey Chan in Gizmodo.com. Sony might have leveraged the Walkman’s popularity into dominance of the digital-music market, but it bet on the wrong technology and failed to link “the portable experience with easy-to-use desktop software.”

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