A 4SquareMedia Website

> Wearable Technology
> Appliances
> Automation
> Automotive
> Buyers Guide
> CEDIA 2010
> Comment
> Content & Downloads
> Digital Photography
> Gaming
> Green Energy
> HD
> Home Cinema
> Home Office
> How Stuff Works
> Installation
> Portable Players
> Media Centres
> Phones
MP3 Player
Smartphones & PDAs
> Real Sound
> Reviews
> Smart Awards 2013
> Smart Ideas
> Trio Awards 08
> TVs & Large Display
> Wireless & Networking
> Featured Reviews
> Advertising
> Competitions
> Contact
> Disclaimer
> Signup
> Terms & Conditions
> Subscribe to Newsletter
> Subscribe to Magazine

Top 10 Viewed Articles
  1. Who Has The Best LCD TV: Sony, Toshiba Or Samsung?
  2. FIRST LCD TV REVIEW: LG Scarlet 60 Vs Samsung Series 6
  3. Sony PS4 Not Far Away
  4. The Humble PC Gets A Whopping Makeover
  5. Sony Bravia LCD TVs Vs Samsung LED HD TVs Which is Best?
  6. Toshiba Working With Microsoft On New Entertainment Xbox
  7. Blu-ray Xbox 360 Planned By Microsoft
  8. Massive Failure Rate For Xbox 360 Exposed
  9. Free Sony PS3 Con
  10. How To Build Your Own Digital Media Server: Part I
Top 10 Viewed Reviews
  1. First Review: Samsung Series 7 LED TV
  2. Movies On-The-Go With Teac DVD Boombox
  3. Who Has The Best 32-inch Screen: Panasonic, Samsung, or Sony?
  4. Who Has The Best Home Theatre Kit? Denon vs Bose
  5. Every Bit Of Defence Counts
  6. New Denon Home Theatre Makes Bose Look Like Yesterdays Technology
  7. Best Media Player On The Market
  8. At $1,499 The Aldi Medion 17-inch Notebook Is A Steal
  9. Affordable Noise Cancelling Headphones That Work
  10. B&W 600 Speaker Delivers Real Sound


30 Years On What Went Wrong With The Sony Walkman

By David Richards | Thursday | 02/07/2009

Today should have been a glorious day for Sony, because on this day in 1979, Sony presented us with the Walkman which, at the time, was a step up from the hand held radio, another hero product for Sony.

However, unfortunately Sony isn't the company it once was. Instead, the Walkman has been trounced and the iPod is the new king of the portable music market.

Like a lot of things these days at Sony, the company failed to stay in touch with what consumers wanted - which in the case of the iPod Vs the Walkman was simply software and ease of use.

When the Walkman was first launched I was working on A Current Affair and I remember one of the crews who had been in Japan coming back and talking about this stunning new piece of sound gear.

As part of the launch hype Sony gave away the Walkman to various celebrities and asked them to try it. Magazine photographs of young pop stars listening to a Walkman suddenly started to appear in the media.

The popularity of the Walkman spread by word of mouth. The initial batch of 30,000 units sold out by the end of August 1979, and thereafter production levels had to be constantly raised to meet consumer demand. For the next six months, shops were consistently selling out, and retailers' previous sceptical over the saleability of the Walkman was replaced with pleas for more supplies.

In 2001 Steve Jobs, in what was literally an overnight launch, destroyed the Walkman, with the launch one single product, the iPod - a mix of hard drive, software and simple design. Since then, Sony has struggled because suddenly their lack of thinking and failure to develop software was exposed.  

Apple recognised that consumers wanted a lot more than a pretty gadget. They wanted functionality, ease of use features that Sony had failed to deliver. Today, the heart and soul of the iPod is the software that delivers for consumers several capabilities including easy internet access to download songs, easy management of music and video's across both their iPod and PC.

Why Sony could not see this is not a surprise.

Hardware centric, Sony is struggling today because of a management culture that put hardware design over software functionality.

Take the Sony Playstation Vs the Nintendo Wii. In this case, it was a simple controller and software that appealed to the mass market vs. niche gamers that saw the Nintendo Wii swamp sales of Sony's Playstation 3 gaming console - even with a Blu-ray player thrown in.

Today, Sony is struggling with the company now trying to turn themselves into a networking company that will compete with the likes of Xbox Live and other organisations like Cisco that are planning to launch major content networks.

Today, those original Walkman portable stereos are long gone with Sony pushed into single digit market share in the portable music market up alongside players like Samsung, Creative and Philips. 

The Walkman can be credited with being the concept founder of MP3 players and Bluetooth headsets that we have today. Unfortunately Sony, as a brand, is struggling  against some new kids on the block as well as some old hands like Cisco who are tipping billions into audio visual technology as well as networking and content.

Print this article
Email this story to a friend
Link this story:
Link this page to delicious Link this page to Digg Link this page to Furlit Link this page to News Vine Link this page to Reddit Link this page to Spurl Link this page to Yahoo My Web RSS this section

New LG 65   New LG 65" Ultra High Definition TV, Complete With Pop Down Speakers: REVIEW
LG Australia has finally rolled out their 65" Ultra High Definition TV offering in Australia and what you get is a TV that delivers a quantum leap in TV technology and surprisingly a significantly improved sound system that is delivered from pop down speakers but the big question is whether it is worth $6,999.
Product Rating 4.5

Westfield To Split   Westfield To Split
Shopping giant to separate ANZ, international operation
Product Rating 0

REVIEW:Note 3 Is The Best There Is In Phablet Smartphones   REVIEW:Note 3 Is The Best There Is In Phablet Smartphones
If you are one of those people who love technology but struggle to manage the hundreds of apps and the endless capabilities that today's smartphones are capable of delivering then the new Samsung Note 3 is not for you.
Product Rating 5

Get the latest news
Subscribe today for your daily news of consumer electronic news...
Get the latest news

reaches over 2 million consumers a year. Contact us today about special deals..

For more information ...

Apr/May 2011 issue

reviews the hot new iPhone attach device, the Zeppelin Air. And we look at what's going on in the tablet space...