On Wednesday Sony celebrated 30 years of the Walkman, as did many consumers. First released in 1979, the tape playing music player cost £120 in the UK and originally named Stowaway. In Australia it was known as FreeStyle and as Soundabout in the US. Japan had the name of Walkman which caught on around the world and become the known name for the device. Within the first two months 30,000 were sold and over a decade 50 million were purchased.

30 years on and Sony are still producing music players taking advantage of today’s technology. But also taking advantage of today’s technology and learning from the past, Apple are dominating the portable music market. With over 210 million iPods sold over the last eight years, Sony has strong competition. The Walkman brand can be found on many devices though, from the original tape playing Walkman through to digital MP3 players and even using the Walkman brand on Sony Ericsson phones. Over the 30 years, 385 million Walkman devices have been sold.

To celebrate 30 years of the Walkman, Sony are releasing the Walkman X today, July 3rd. The portable music player is available in 16GB and 32GB versions. TheWalkman X will also include built in WiFi as well as a 3″ touch screen display. Unlike other MP3 players with touch screens, Sony will be taking advantage of the OLED technology and using that for the touch display. Pricing will start at $299.99 (£169.99).


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