The history of this brand begins in the distant 1979. It was then that the TPS-L2 cassette player first appeared - the first Walkman, designed by engineer Nobutoshi Kihara. The device turned out to be extremely successful and popular. Despite all the efforts of competitors who produced similar devices, it is the equipment from Sony became the very foundation of the portable audio industry.
Following a number of cassette players, the company began to produce CD players (at first produced under the subbrand Discman). And here, too, a resounding success awaited her. But with the MD-players that appeared in 1992, things did not work out. Despite some advantages (in the form of compact size and resistance to shaking), these players had one, but a very serious drawback - the MD format turned out to be surprisingly inconvenient for the end user. In addition, the format was closed - the rights to it belonged only to Sonywhich turned out to be not the best solution. The rapid development in 1995 of a new format, namely mp3, left MD no chance. By the end of the 90s of the last century, experiments with the release of MP3 players were already in full swing. Sony same stubbornly promoted MD. This turned out to be a very big mistake.
Until recently, the very word "Walkman" was associated with a portable player. But the mistakes made were not slow to affect: in 2001 Walkman pushed another brand - iPod. For unknown reasons, the company Sony I couldn’t spot a serious competitor in Apple products in time ... And I lost all my positions in the market of portable audio devices, where they reigned supreme for more than twenty years.
|Sony Walkman MWZ-A815|
Sony was forced to abandon the release of MD players, finally switching to MP3 players under the same brand. But the company did it too “clumsily” - the presented models were distinguished by high cost and low functionality. At first, it was impossible to even simply transfer the music to the player - it had to be converted into a special format first. In addition, the user was asked to literally wade through all the veils associated with copyright (DRM). Naturally, such devices could not seriously compete.
The situation began to more or less stabilize in 2006, when a number of very successful devices were presented. But opportunities and time were irretrievably lost. Probability of return Walkman as a leading portable audio brand seems unlikely now.
branded Walkman mobile phones are produced in parallel Sony Ericsson musical direction. But here, too, the good name of the brand was "tarnished" - sometimes under it came out models that did not differ in satisfactory sound quality, and therefore, could only conditionally be called "musical". And a model that allows you to use standard 3.5 mm headphones appeared only in 2009 - before that you had to use only a special headset. Even some representative Sony once mentioned that the release of musical mobile phones under this brand did not justify itself and, in fact, it was a mistake to use it for this purpose.
But still. For all this time, branded Walkman More than 100 million portable players have been released for various media. Very few companies have been able to achieve such numbers.
The world's first player can be considered Mikiphone - a miniature gramophone (it was in the 19th century), created by the Vadasz brothers from Switzerland. The device, when folded, could fit in a pocket, but nevertheless, it was capable of playing records up to 25 cm in diameter.
In fact, the inventor of the portable audio player is not Nobutoshi Kihara, but someone Andreas Pavel, who in 1972 designed and assembled a device called stereobelt (Stereo belt). In 1977, the inventor received a patent. The original creation did not have any commercial success. Long time Sony denied the fact of who actually is the "pioneer". The inventor sued and after 20 years (!) won it, having received millions of euros from the corporation (the exact amount was not disclosed).