Another form of once cutting-edge technology is said to be edging closer to an official death sentence, as reports claim that Tokyo (Japan)-based giant Sony are preparing to put an end to their production of portable cassette players in a market that they have become synonymous with.
Following on from the discontinuation of their iconic ‘Walkman’ cassette players in 2010 after they had been on the market since 1979, the company are now looking to further withdraw from the world of tapes, with their tape recorder range (naturally doubling as cassette players) now set to end next year.
After shipping their final batch of tape recorders ‘early next year’ (under the TCM-400, TCM-410, and TCM-450 lines), it is believed that Sony have ceased internal production on the product, and with one of the giants of the audio industry now withdrawing, global sales of such devices will now be left in the hands small companies and a niche second-hand market.
While items such as the Walkman (known as the world’s first low-cost portable media player) and tape recorders will have their place in the history books, it is well-known now that even the innovation that followed on from tapes (CDs) is struggling against digital formats and streaming, especially considering the difficulty of transferring a tape-recorded clip to a computer in file format compared to all the simpler, more ‘modern’ methods.
While it may be the end for ‘portable’ cassettes, Sony are for the time being retaining their interest in their line of ‘CD/Cassette Boombox’ players, though it is one of the few items left that retain support for what is fast becoming a collector’s industry.
While Sony, who have yet to officially confirm their departure from tape recorders, had kept the industry open due to the device’s popularity with journalists and students, it seems as though tapes are getting ever closer to the end of the line, so how long will it be before all such products are ‘wound up’?