Handkerchiefs at the ready, people, it’s a sad day. Sony has announced that it is ceasing Japanese sales and production of the cassette Walkman, around 30 years after it first started selling them. The Sony Walkman TPS-L2 went on sale in Japan on July 1 1979, and while the models have obviously changed since then, Sony only shipped its last batch to retailers in April 2010.
Over half of Sony’s 400m overall Walkman sales were cassette models, in fact. Surprisingly, while official Sony production and distribution is ceasing, that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find a new Walkman anywhere in the world.
In fact, Chinese manufacturers are still licensed to produce Walkmans, which will continue to be sold in Asia and the Middle-East. So, raise a glass to the authentic item, take a browse through the Wikipedia entry, and let’s remember the halcyon days of crunchy tape and shonky buttons.