After thirty years of production, Sony announced the end of sales for its Walkman portable cassette players. The final batch was made in April in Japan and no other unit will come when the current stock is finished. Since its introduction in 1979, over 200 million cassette Walkman players were sold over years.
Sony will go on with making and selling Walkmans with CD and MiniDisc units, as well as the latest flash-based devices it has made. However, cloned and Sony-branded Walkmans still continue to be manufactured by Chinese companies in the Middle East and Asia.
It was generally accepted that the Walkman was a pioneer of the concept of portable, personal audio beyond radio sets. It contributed to spurring the cassette as a very popular format and kept alive interest in albums. Interest began to fade only in the 90’s when the Discman took over. A more definite end was brought by the appearance of the iPod.