Sony Ejects the Walkman in Japan: Pioneering Portable Music Player Goes Quiet


It was bound to happen. Sony (SNE) has sold its last Walkman, the pioneering portable cassette music player, in Japan, according to a report in The Register.

While the device will still be available in certain regions like emerging markets, Sony is discontinuing its Walkman sales in Japan, according to the report. The decision comes as no surprise, given the advent of Apple's (AAPL) iPod and the plethora of MP3 players that have emerged since the Walkman debuted 30 years ago.

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The Walkman's debut was a game changer for teens. It gave youth a chance to blast their own music without fear, generally, of reprisal from parents screaming, "turn that down." The portable cassette player with two tiny foam cushion headphones was a common site around the home, in cars and on campuses. But in contrast to today's slim and small iPods that are also far more technologically advanced, with such features as video chat and WiFi connections, the Walkman is like an aging rock star.