A little over thirty years ago, Sony introduced a gadget that would change the landscape of the portable stereo market. Now, its time has come to an end.
Introduced in 1979 in the form of Sony’s TPS-L2, the cassette Walkman was designed to be the world’s first inexpensive portable stereo system. Eventually, Sony added recording features, making the Walkman a very capable and versatile device.
Sony eventually adapted the “Walkman” brand to other devices, including personal CD players, Mini-Disc portable stereos, and even digital media players where the name continues to be used today.
But while the death of the cassette Walkman wasn’t unexpected, taking place the day before the very device that added to its demise is a little ironic.
Sony has officially ended the production of portable cassette players just one day before Apple first introduced the game-changing iPod to the world.
On October 23, 2001, Apple introduced an easy-to-use and fashionable hard-drive based media player that has grown to such a success, it’s now easily the most popular media player on the planet.
Given the low cost of mp3 players – not to mention the ridiculous tiny sizes they’re reaching – we can’t imagine many people would be using a cassette walkman.