San Diego – Sony might be getting around to ship its last cassette Walkman in Japan, but the device will live on elsewhere around the world for awhile, according to multiple press reports.
The company will continue to make cassette Walkman players for consumers outside the Japan market, including the U.S., Europe and some Asian countries, AP reported.
In the U.S., the company has no plans to discontinue the single model that it offers, a spokesman confirmed to TWICE.
Sony launched the era of personal portable music in June 1979 with the introduction of the first Sony Walkman, a $450 portable cassette player with headphones and ability to play but not record cassette tapes. Soon after, Sony launched an in-dash car stereo head unit whose cassette mechanism could be pulled out from the dash and used as a battery-operated Walkman. In the early 1980s, Sony launched the first portable CD player with headphones, called the Discman.
Portable music technology would change again in 1998 when the first widely available MP3 players became available.
The iPod came a few years later in late 2001.