Apple pretty much runs the media player industry these days. Between iPhones, iPods and iPads, Steve Jobs and his flying monkeys have managed to command huge market share. It’s all very impressive – especially since it was Sony who invented the entire market segment with the introduction of the Walkman.
Before the original Walkman was released, the only way to listen to your music on the go was to get a ghetto blaster, a fistful of batteries and walk around with that thing strapped to your shoulder. While that was all fine and well if your name was Radio Raheem, and you were a character in a Spike Lee movie, it wasn’t really practical for everyone else. The Walkman
changed all that.
First released in Japan in 1979, the Walkman was actually commissioned by the company’s then president, Akio Morita, he wanted a device that would allow him to listen to operas on his boring overseas flights. The Sony engineering department got together and forged a miniature cassette player out of pixie dust and sheer force of will. The device hit the market on July 1st 1979 and it quickly took on a life of its own. Not only did it change the way people listened to music, the term ‘Walkman’ became synonymous with any portable music device.
Thirty-two years later the brand still lives on
. Although the original cassette players have long been superseded, the Walkman logo has been slapped on every generation of media player to come out of Sony – everything from the MiniDisc systems that showed up in the '90s through to the Sony Ericsson phones and the latest range of MP3 players. Still, nothing beats that chunky '80s aesthetic on the early Walkmans.
The latest range of Sony Walkman MP3 players
have just been released.