R.I.P. Sony Walkman (1979-2010)



Sony Walkman TPS-L2

I still remember my first portable cassette player, a gift my mom got me during her trip to the U.S. some 20 years ago. If I remember it correctly, what I got was a JVC portable cassette player but in the Philippines, all portable cassette players were referred to as “Walkmans” regardless of their brand. Sony released the world’s first low-cost portable stereo – the Walkman TPS-L2 in July 1, 1979 and has sold 220 million units of Walkman portable cassette players in the last 30 years.

In the 80’s, audio cassette tapes were very popular so the Walkmans were basically the iPods of that era. However, that time is long past and with the advancement in technology the past few years, these music players have become obsolete leading to lackluster sales these last few years. So it’s no surprise that Sony has decided to stop production of the Walkman. I’m actually more surprised to find out that they still made them. The last batch of the portable cassette players were produced in Japan last April. Once those units gets sold that’s it, hasta lavista Sony Walkman portable cassette players! It’s sad to see this piece of music technology, which was once a symbol of coolness – die and be gone forever.

Sony will continue to use the Walkman brand name for their video MP3 players. They’ll also continue to sell their line of Walkman CD and mini-disc players inspite of their decreasing popularity. According to sources, a Chinese company will continue the production of the portable cassette players to cater to the small market of people who still prefer to use these “ancient” and “obsolete” music players.

R.I.P Sony Walkman portable cassette players. Your batteries have ran out and your tape chewing days are past but nevertheless, thanks for the fond memories!

Anyone here who owned a Sony Walkman portable cassette player? Do you still have it and use it? What are the memories you have from using this device? What songs do you remember playing on your portable cassette players?


Owner and editor of JaypeeOnline. Self-proclaimed geek. New media writer and consultant. WordPress advocate. Loves blogging, gadgets, video games and sports. You can follow him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.

8 Comments

  1. JP Habaradas

    October 26, 2010 at 9:45 PM

    @frenchy – Yes, it sure does bring back good memories. Who can forget MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice? Hehe

    I also felt old when I read about this on the news and remembering childhood memories. But it’s all good, we were fortunate enough to experience the 80’s which IMO, is one of the best eras in terms of entertainment – the music, the tv shows, video games, etc. :D

  2. frenchy

    October 26, 2010 at 9:42 PM

    Reading this post brings me back to the good childhood memories. I had my first sony walkman when I was in 4th grade. It was sent to me by my mom who was working abroad at that time. Had fun playing with it with the hits of Milli Vanilli, MC Hammer and Bobby Brown, and then the new wave hits in the later years and eraserheads, of course.. LOL. I feel so old now. Oh well, those were the good old days.

  3. JP Habaradas

    October 26, 2010 at 1:30 AM

    @Jhay – I think I got mine the same time as you did – 5th or 6th grade. Not so sure though, it’s been a long time ago. Yeah the Eraserheads, loved their songs too.

  4. Jhay

    October 26, 2010 at 1:26 AM

    I got my very first Walkman back in 6th Grade. Had lots of fun with it, listening to Eraserheads! Good times….:D

  5. JP Habaradas

    October 25, 2010 at 8:20 PM

    @icechen1 – Yup, the Walkman brings back fond memories of the past. I’m sure years from now, folks will also say the same when the iPod becomes “obsolete” technology. :D

  6. icechen1

    October 25, 2010 at 8:16 PM

    Ah the nostalgia :)
    It was fun while it lasted, sony!

  7. JP Habaradas

    October 25, 2010 at 7:45 PM

    @Blogie – Me too. I have all my cassette tapes including my old portable cassette player back in the Philippines. I hope my mom doesn’t throw them away. Hehe

  8. Blogie

    October 25, 2010 at 7:42 PM

    I will always associate the Walkman with 80s tunes. :)

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