Sony has announced that they are retiring the Walkman, the revolutionary portable tape player which has enjoyed a 30 year lifespan and sales of over 200 million units.
We may have assumed that the tape player died out long ago, having been overtaken my CD players and then digital MP3 players and iPods, but Sony have continued to sell the classic device allowing older generations access to tapes.
Once the epitome of cool, The Sony Walkman was launched in 1979, and was seen as the must-have gadget of the 1980’s, much like Apples iPod is today. The innovative product brought music on-the-go to the masses and led the way for the many other portable devices to come.
In recent years the classic style of the Walkman player has been replicated and used within ‘retro’ fashion trends (queue shell suits and leg warmers). Adapted Walkman shells have even been sold as iPod covers! However, the shabby old technology would never have been able to keep up with the high quality and easy-to-store MP3s.
So it is the end of an era for Sony, RIP The Walkman.