Sony confirmed today that the well-loved Walkman is finally dead and will no longer be produced.
I was a little surprised to see that it was still being built if I’m honest, but it’s passing is a shame for those of us old enough to remember it being the ‘must have’ gadget in the playground!
The Walkman was originally launched in July 1979, and Sony says it has sold 220 million cassette Walkman players across the world and in doing so made portable music players a lifestyle essential for many and paved the way for the MP3 music revolution.
31 years is a heck of a long time for technology to still be around, but did you realise that the iPod celebrated its ninth anniversary earlier this year? The First Generation iPod launched on 23rd October 2001 with the slogan “1,000 songs in your pocket”. The first iPod had a black and white LCD (liquid-crystal display) screen and featured a 5 GB hard drive capable of storing 1,000 songs encoded using MP3 and was priced at US$399.
But unlike the Walkman, the iPod didn’t just change the face of music, it also reinvigorated the video industry and it could be argued encourage the consumption of video on the computer and over the internet, and of course the widespread adoption of Smartphones.
Not only that but the iPod changed the face of many corporate networks and it created many a new headache for network security people. Suddenly people were carrying in their handbags or pocket, a device capable of storing vast amounts of corporate data. Not only that but corporate networks are having to support huge quantities of data as their staff download and store music and video’s via their corporate PCs.
So I wonder if in 2032 – after 31 years of service – we will be lamenting the passing of the iPod and what will have replaced it as the ‘must have’ consumable….?