Sunday, August 11, 2019
Must-have 80s gadget and one-time icon of Japan electronics cool, Sony's Walkman turned 40 this year and like its now middle-aged fans, is clinging to its youth with high-tech updates.
On July 1, 1979, as the global economy suffered through the second oil shock, Sony unleashed on the world a dark-blue brick of a machine with chunky silver buttons, the Walkman TPS-L2.
Priced at a hefty 33,000 yen --$300 in today's money -- the first generation Walkman could not record but its stereo music playback function quickly captured hearts in Japan and then the world.
It had two headset jacks -- labelled "guys" and "dolls" -- to allow two people to listen simultaneously. A bright orange "hotline" button could be pressed to lower the volume while the couple chatted.
After a disappointing first month when only 3,000 units were sold...
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