Newsflash: Sony says Walkman sales are slow

“Sony Corp.’s once-dominant personal music player business is struggling against Apple Computer Inc.’s iPod despite the introduction of new models over the past year, Sony president Ryoji Chubachi said,” Yukari Iwatani Kane reports for The Wall Street Journal.

Kane reports, “Sony’s Walkman digital music players failed to meet their initial target for the past year, Mr. Chubachi told reporters. He declined to describe a strategy to bounce back over rest of the year. ‘We miscalculated with the Walkman,’ he said.”

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Related articles:
The unmitigated disaster story of Sony Connect – May 31, 2006
Recurring joke: Sony preps ‘iPod Killer’ – again – April 28, 2006
BusinessWeek: Apple’s iPod+iTunes Store ‘kicking the stuffing out of Sony’ – March 03, 2006
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: Sony’s Walkman Bean is cooked – February 13, 2006
Bear Stearns analyst: ‘Apple is becoming what Sony always wanted to be’ – January 27, 2006


  1. I don’t see the low estimates of iPod sales. iRiver is the latest to drop out of the player business, and aruguably theirs was one of the better ones.

    Now Sony says the digital Walkman isn’t meeting numbers, which were conservative at best (in relation to the iPod).

    Digital player sales aren’t declining overall, and there are no reports of other players gaining share.

  2. iPod sales will have grown year-over-year but not by some 100%+.

    Others may be in decline, or slower growth than Apple.

    So yes, the market is still growing, just not as fast, and it looks like Apple is still outpacing others in market share.

    However, other factors may be adding to the MP3 player growth slowdown.
    1. Cell phones. While not a huge deal yet, some MP3 phones are selling to certain segments.
    2. XM MP3. This is another product catching on in various quadrants.
    3. SanDisk is catching on, and is probably the biggest growth player in the industry – right now. However, they are probably chewing into other WMA players more so than iPod.

    Add it up, and new competition from new companies and various markets are emerging, and this is something is going to have to contend with, and lead the player into new and uncharted water – which mergance they choose to add to the iPod or have the iPod become is the million dollar question – and will it succeed, or will some other direction win the day?…

  3. Apple could wipe the Walkman and most all disk players from the market if they would come up with a non-computer solution.

    Something self contained, a PDA/iPod hybrid with it’s own DSL modem chip.

    Imagine people hooking their 6G iPods to a phone line, using their stylus to click and sample songs via iTMS, and then downloading and paying for them.

    Imagine DJ’s being able to honor just about any song request.

    To recharge and backup the music they go to a new larger “iPod dock” or their “iStereo” with removeable hard drive.

    Apple is stupid.

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