More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: Sony’s Walkman Bean is cooked

After less than four months on the market — and despite the oft-trumpeted, yet obviously meaningless built-in FM tuner — Sony’s Walkman Bean has been cooked by boiling Apple iPod sales. Debuting in October 2005, Sony had high hopes for the kidney-shaped, flash-based 512MB (US$130, since cut to around $110) and 1GB ($180, since cut to around $140) Walkman Beans. Alas, Sony’s hopes have been dashed in what just might be record time.

“Yesterday, the company confirmed that it will be discontinued in April. It insists that repairs are still available long after production ends,” David Derbyshire reports for The Telegraph. Oliver Duff also reports the same news for The Independent, “After less than six months on the market, Sony has announced that the Bean will be discontinued in April.”

MacDailyNews Take: iPod: killer. That was one quick — but not painless to Sony — death.

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Related articles:
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: Dell dumps ‘DJ’ hard-drive MP3 player line – February 04, 2006
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: iRiver pulling out of Europe? – February 01, 2006
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: Thomson gives up on MP3 player, CE markets – December 12, 2005
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: BenQ withdraws from MP3 player markets – November 28, 2005
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: Olympus halts production of portable digital music players – November 09, 2005
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: Rio is dead – August 26, 2005
Sony to combat music market ‘maestro’ Apple Computer with ‘Walkman Beans’ – August 18, 2005
Apple’s iPod has blood on its Click Wheel: Virgin Electronics is dead – March 08, 2005


  1. Just what everyone wanted… a music player shaped like the internal organ of a human child.

    What next? The Thalmus? a small nut shaped mp3 player that holds more music than your own noggin’?

    MW… higher, as in I’m XXXX than Andy tonight!

    (see comments on prev. article)

  2. It’s so hard to keep up with all the “iPod Killers”. Thanks MDN!

    BTW, what ever became of ‘Creative’? After the huge win at CES as “Best Product”, I haven’t heard much.

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  3. I never thought the Bean was an iPod Killer, but I did think it would survive! It’s Sony’s best attempt so far.

    One good reason NOT to get any player but an iPod: it’s likely to be off the market before very many are sold. And that means good luck getting service in the long run.

  4. For those of us who live in Asia, the design of the Sony MP3 player is actually cool compared to many of the choices out here. Most MP3 players are designed just like standard old school USB drives, slim and boring, but Sony had potential. I guess they really did not get the integrated content thing down…I am sure they will come up with something else in a few months to claim they can hurt apple.

    Time will tell

  5. I love my iPod but it would be great if someone could really come out with something to compete with it. Although, every company fails to realize that it is the whole package; not just the player that makes iPod so great. Gotta have a total solution to really compete with Apple. They keep looking at this market like the PC market and can’t comprehend that it is a totally different creature. As soon as the realize that then Apple will actually have some “healthy” competition (not the monopolisitic type they are used to with Microsoft). Remember that competition is a good thing. It will keep Apple sharp and innovative. Now if we can just get people to see the quality that OS X is over windows but one can dream.

  6. If you go to Sony’s website and look for it’s hard drive based MP3 players, you’ll find that they are no longer available. It doesn’t look like there were any announcements. It did a “Dell DJ” and simply vanished off the shelf. Are there ANY 30+GB Mp3 players left? if there are, not for much longer it would seem.

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