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Sony Walkman Turns 30

by on Jul.04, 2009, under Gadgets, Technology

Sony started a revolution 30years ago, the walkman revolution. Never before had music lovers been conveniently able to carry around their favorite tunes with them and since then the portable music market has been booming – reinventing itself. Since then we have seen loads of new products.

The original blue-and-silver Walkman was marketed in 1979 as the Walkman in Japan, the Soundabout in many other countries including the US, Freestyle in Sweden and the Stowaway in the UK.

Until 1999, every five years on July 1st Sony would come out with a new cassette model with new features and technology. In 1984 the Discman was launched and for years the Walkman and the Discman ruled the market till hard drive-based and flash-based digital audio players made an appearance.

In 2003 Sony’s NW-MS70D portable player got overshadowed by the iPod. It had only 256 MB of space and cost as much as a 15 GB iPod. Sony soon churned out hard drive and flash based MP3 players and finally after losing a major chunk of the market share to other companies tried to revive the Walkman brand through music-centric mobile phones marketed under the Sony Ericsson brand.

The device was built in 1978 by audio division engineer Nobutoshi Kihara for Sony co-chairman Morita, who wanted to be able to listen to operas during his frequent transpacific plane trips.

Ages will come and go but this Walkman revolution will go on.

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