After selling more than 200 million units in 31 years, Sony has ended global production of Sony Walkman cassette tape players. Sales will end when the last batch is sold in stores.

The last cassette only Walkman player was discontinued in North America several years ago but continued to sell in foreign markets.

Built in 1978 by audio-division engineer Nobutoshi Kihara for Sony co-chairman Akio Morita, who wanted to be able to listen to operas during his frequent trans-Pacific plane trips, the original Walkman introduced a change in music listening habits by allowing people to carry music with them and listen to music through lightweight headphones.

The original Walkman was marketed in 1979 as the Walkman in Japan, the Soundabout in many other countries including the US and Canada.

While the Cassette Walkman will die, the Sony Walkman brand will continue to survive. Sony Walkman digital audio players will continue to be sold under the Sony Ericsson brand.

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