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It's officially the end of an era, folks, one that quite frankly we're surprised lasted as long as it did. In any event, Sony announced it has stopped the Japanese production of its once popular Walkman portable cassette players.
This marks the end of a 31-year run from when the Walkman first went on sale in Japan back on July 1, 1979. At the time, the design was a near-instant hit and served as the forefather to today's spate of portable music players, including Apple's uber popular iPod and Microsoft's me-too Zune.
According to Sony, more than 400 million Walkmans have been sold worldwide until March 2010, a little over half of which were cassette-based models. Going forward, the Walkman brand will live on through CD, MD, and flash memory-based models.
TPS-L2, which would later carry the Walkman branding, was the first commercially sold personal stereo cassette player.