Original Sony Walkman TPS-L2 from 1979
|Lifespan||July 1, 1979 – October 25, 2010 (|
|Units sold||385 million (as of March 31, 2009)|
Walkman is a series of
The Walkman was followed by a series of international releases; as overseas sales companies objected to the
Magnetic cassette technology was developed in 1963 by the Dutch electronics firm
The metal-cased blue-and-silver Walkman TPS-L2, the world's first low-cost portable stereo, went on sale in Japan on July 1, 1979, and was sold for around ¥39,433.58 (or $150.00), or ¥57,109.02 (or $498.66) adjusted for inflation. Though Sony predicted it would sell about 5,000 units a month, it sold more than 50,000 in the first two months. Sony introduced the Walkman in the US as the Soundabout and the UK as the Stowaway; as developing new, copyright-free names in every country was expensive, Sony settled on Walkman, a play on Pressman. The TPS-L2 was introduced in the U.S. in June 1980.
In October 2010, it was reported that manufacturing of the cassette-based Walkman would cease in Japan, but that Sony would continue production of the device in China to accommodate users abroad, including in the