Walkman Turns 30; Sony Isn't Celebrating

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 1, 2009 11:32 AM CDT
In this Feb. 2, 1982 file photo, Sony Corp. Chairman Akio Morita laughs during a meeting where he displays a Walkman in Tokyo, Japan.   (AP Photo/Neal Ulevich, File)
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(Newser) – The Walkman turns 30 today, but Sony isn’t exactly celebrating, writes Peter Kafka of All Things Digital. Apart from a special exhibit at Sony’s archive in Tokyo—which seems more like a funeral than a birthday party—Sony’s letting the milestone pass quietly. The device has been badly outsold by the iPod in recent years, and with a restructuring looming, partying probably seemed gauche.

"Sony views the Walkman’s birthday as a lot of middle-aged people view their birthdays," Kafka theorizes, "Markers of bygone eras and missed opportunities."