Wednesday, 12 December 2012


According to, Sony has signalled the end of an era by ceasing all production of the cassette Walkman. Cassette tapes have now joined camera film and floppy disks as redundant mediums.

Sony officially stopped mass production of the cassette Walkman in 2010, but production had continued on a small scale in China to accommodate users in the United States and Europe. In January 2013 it will cease all production of the cassette Walkman.

Walking into history: The Sony Walkman with some of its modern counterparts.

Jun Yoon, Sony Australia’s Walkman Product Manager said: "Sony has been a leader in the personal audio category for over 30 years now and the Walkman cassette player has played an iconic part in this history. Although the Walkman cassette player has nostalgic memories for many of us, the way people enjoy music is changing and technology is evolving to interact and fit into our different lifestyles."

The cassette Walkman was the world's first low-cost portable stereo and went on sale in Japan in 1979. It was invented by Nobutoshi Kihara, an engineer in the audio division at Sony. He had been asked by his chairman to design a device that would help him pass the time on his frequent business trips, and enable him to listen to his favourite operas. Sony has since sold over 200 million Walkmans.

Sony’s cassette Walkmans were hugely popular in the 1980’s. Sales began to decline with the invention of Sony’s portable CD player, the Discman, and its range of MiniDisc players.

The final nail in the Walkman coffin was the introduction of the iPod and MP3 players that played digitally-stored music.  

However, the demise of the cassette Walkman is not the end of the Walkman brand. Sony still retains the brand name and now uses it on its MP3 players.

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