Walkman Walk

How Much Longer Can the Walkman Walk?

Nowadays, everybody’s got a smartphone. Many folks of our generation can still remember the iPods that were coming out periodically because technology in the mid-late 2000’s, and now though the 2010’s, has been changing quickly with more products released by different companies.

The original Walkman, released in July 1979, was the first personal and on-the-go music player.

Sony took the design of the Pressman, which was intended for journalists to use, and made it something marketable to the average person.

After adding a set of headphones, the Walkman became portable and easy for anybody to carry. It wasn’t instantly successful but became essential to many people in the following years.

Other companies began producing products that were also small and portable for music. Today, every smartphone can do everything a Walkman can without the batteries, wires, and tapes.

This summer, Sony announced that another version of the Walkman is going to be released by the end of the year in Europe and Australia for it’s 40th anniversary.

It has a new modern look with bluetooth compatibility. Also, it allows for music to be downloaded and streamed.

Unlike the original, no cassettes are required. The new Walkman has a 26 hour battery life, which eclipses smartphones.

Walkman Walk 2Concerns and questions have been popped into the cassette player about how much of a market there is for this new Walkman, considering the fast competition.

If people already have music on their cellphones, will they be inclined to purchase another piece of technology that has almost the same or even less capabilities? Plug your headphones in because the answer might surprise you.

There are many things that have been re-released or that have “come back” for nostalgic reasons, but updated to feel and look more modern or to fit what’s happening in our culture today. Examples include movies, TV shows, fashion trends, and video games.

Aaron Furgason, Ph.D., Communication Professor and Chair for WMCX, said, “The technology is in name only.” This means that the new Walkman doesn’t use cassettes or any actual old technology, because it would not be realistic for people to begin purchasing tapes again for this product.

It simply takes the look and style of the old product and adds a modern “twist.”

Since it more-so pays homage to the original Walkman with many modern updates, Furgason noted that “the market for the re-released Walkman is for people 40 years and older and individuals who love old technology.”

Even though many have access to smartphones, including the people who used a Walkman when it was newly released in the early 1980’s, the nostalgia and sentiment of the product with modern updates is appealing.

Many younger people that may not have been around for the original Walkman could be another group of consumers targeted by this product.

There are many people fascinated by old products and technology. This explains why there has been a huge influx in people buying record players and vinyl.

The Walkman does seem to be set up for success when it’s released because people appreciate things from the 1980’s and 1990’s.

It may not be the most useful product because of smartphones, but there are many that have already expressed interest in it.

Some may find they enjoy a separate device for just music as opposed to taking their phone.

This can be useful for those who work out and want to play music without the distraction of their cellphone or in the car driving without having to look at their cellphones.

It may not be most practical option, considering it’s still an expensive investment (the new version is marketed to be just under $500 USD), but its nostalgia could be enough.

The future of the Walkman is unclear for now. It may just be a passing fad and something else may quickly replace it, but as of now, it does seem like there are people who are excited for the end of the year release.

Unfortunately, there are no plans for the product to be released to the United States, so if you decide you do want to purchase it, you may want to book a vacation to Europe. Or just order it online.

IMAGE TAKEN from @SilverPeak Twitter