• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Sony Walkman ceases production after 31 years

October 25, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
After 31 years, it is the end of the line for the Sony Walkman.Sony announced Monday that it has ceased production of the classic, cassette tape Walkman in Japan, effectively sounding the death knell of the once iconic, now obsolete device.

Sony revolutionized the electronics industry with the Walkman in 1979. It was the first-ever portable music device.

As cassette tapes gave way to CDs, Sony followed up with the Discman. But when Apple burst into the market with the first iPod in 2001, there was no turning back. In the nine years since, Apple has sold more than 275 million iPods and is now the undisputed leader in portable music.

Sony says there is still some demand for the classic Walkman in parts of Asia and the Middle East, and to accommodate those customers, it will produce a limited number of Walkmen out of China.

Sony sold more than 200 million Walkmans before sales started falling when portable CD and MP3 players came out.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.