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Walkman outsells iPod in Japan

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don't get excited Sony:

The current line of iPods is on its last legs, lending more evidence that an iPod refresh is just around the corner. Sources from Apple Authorized Resellers have confirmed to Ars that current stock is dwindling (if not completely gone in some cases) and that no more of the current models are coming in. Additionally, all current SKUs are being discontinued, with no word on when new models may arrive.

They are expected to announce new models next week....

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I think that and also people are picking up the iphone.

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Item 1:

Sales of the iPhone are not included in the survey.

Item 2:

overall sales of portable music players are on the decline in Japan

Gee. I wonder if there's a connection between these statements.

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I use my pda for all of that. Not enough memory? Just pop in another card, no being stuck with built in memory.

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The Iphone is doing pretty good business since they sorted the keyboard and emoji out for the Japanese.

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arch-rival Apple

I doubt it - their arch rival is probably Warner Brothers or some other media giant - Apple and Sony only compete in computing and portable media. It's like describing Nokia as Sony's arch rival, because they both make phones.

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Check out the UI and design of the new Walkmans: crappy granite effect and uninspired icons sir? Sony just fails to deliver again and again.

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So I guess now would be the time to buy a new mp3 player?

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Yeah, someitmes I think Sony is just relying on customers to buy their products because they are Japanese. That type of thinking isn't going to help anymore.

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finally made the move to iphone (though I own iPods too) this week - slightly under duress. But what I can say is that Softbank is pretty much out of stock so obviously selling well.

Also many other phones have music playback facilities so why bother with normal MP3 players these days?

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Sales of the iPhone are not included in the survey.

But how about sales of Sony cellphones which double as Walkmans? Were they included in the survey? I doubt it, so it's fair.

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I have bought the new Sony Walkman few month ago. Sound (chipset) and screen (O-LED) quality, noise cancelling and standard ear-plugs are making the best I have ever had ever. I-phone/touch etc has a crappy sound chipset.

Also, although in Japan subways I do not specifically need the noise cancelling, in the plane (747 for example) or in the subway in China, I am so happy to have it, gosh!

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Sales of the iPhone are not included in the survey.

wow talk about fixing the numbers... it should be "portable music players" NOT ipod...

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But how about sales of Sony cellphones which double as Walkmans? Were they included in the survey? I doubt it, so it's fair.

Hardly sales of iphones dwarf walkman phones.

Whatever Softbank demanding extra conditions on foreigners wanting iphones is discrimination. Me, I wish Sony all the best.

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somebody is lying here !!!!! i tunes is totally great. plus you can customize your i phone or i pod touch with new and advanced apps (applications). How can Sony compare ?

It's cool !!!

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Used to have an Ipod. Used it for everything. But when I needed to make a call, no batteries...

Then again, I-Phone is not a walkman. Sound is crap as hell, so except if sound quality is not an issue...

Finally, stupid games you need to shake you Iphone around are not my cup of tea.

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I smell a rat. Kind of comparing apples and oranges.

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As much as I dislike Sony, the sound quality of Sony products is far superior to any of the Apple products.

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So will Sony be releasing a gramophone in the near future?

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I agree, without including the iPhone numbers, you're leaving out a lot of people. But hey, where's the Zune? Oh yeah, Renton stopped making them, choosing to focus on the Zune HD. I asked a J friend if he knew about the Zune, and he had never heard of it.

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Good to see the old Walkman make a shock comeback! I still remember mine from the 80s. Looks like Apple is on the slide, apparently they have all sorts of glitches and problems in the iPhone they didn't bother to fix before releasing them. I wouldn't be going near them for at least 3 more years when they have updated a few times and made it better.

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When iPhones can hold 80GB I'll stop using my iPod for music, but 16 or 32Gb just isn't enough right now. I use the iPhone for podcasts though, since the notes are much better.

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yokomoc, i agreeee.

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Lately, I've been using my iPhone mostly for its game apps and music playback only and not as a phone. For phone functions and every day use, I can't let go of my DoCoMo Sharp phone especially because of the one-seg, camera and Suica functions.

I wish Apple would get a clue as to what people use their mobile phones in Japan.

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Most of Japan's adult population seems to be addicted to portable electronic devices, to the extent that they can't walk down the street for more than 10 metres without whipping it out and checking for new messages. Their lives seem to revolve around games, music and messages read on dinky little LCD screens. That, in a word, is pathetic.

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Iphone numbers were left out because the data is only for portable music players sold, not telephones that double as pdas, music players, etc. If you're buying an iphone to listen to only music and as a media player only, then you're an idiot.

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I-Phone is mobile phone set, with gadgets inside, not all useful. I-Touch is the same, wouthout the phone function. Listening music on it is not good, because not designed for this.

I didn't find any good use of the Apple stuff, yet.

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=if you buy a Walkman to only listen to music --> you are an idiot.

A Walkman with wifi download ability may make sense. A Walkman that only plays music may make sense (runners etc).

That's the nice thing about being able to choose the aps for your product. I had a Nokia phone with tremendous potential, could run a keyboard and most Microsoft data files = never used any of it, plus the data rate for downloads were 1cent per kB.

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BurakuminDes

Good to see the old Walkman make a shock comeback! I still remember mine from the 80s.

You are misunderstanding. They are not talking about old traditional cassette tape Walkman but talking about MP3 Player (Digital Walkman). All the MP3/Music Players from Sony is Walkman. 'Walkman' is a one of the brand name of from Sony.

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I never like carrying too many stuff, so the Sony Cell phone I have that also plays MP3 is what I use.

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You are misunderstanding. They are not talking about old traditional cassette tape Walkman but talking about MP3 Player (Digital Walkman). All the MP3/Music Players from Sony is Walkman. 'Walkman' is a one of the brand name of from Sony.

I'm not misunderstanding - Walkman is one of Sony's many brandnames. I had a cassette walkman in the 80s, in the 90s a CD Walkman, and early 00s a MD Walkman. I hope Sony go on to crush the popularity of Apple iphones and MP3 players - Sony seems to be a much better run and cutting edge co. than apple. I reckon Apple has peaked already and is on the slide.....

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...even if they do seem to be making losses right now! I wanna get one of the new, cheaper PS3s too.

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I take my linear-tracking portable turntable with me on my back. -And a ton of Vinyl. What are these MP3s people keep talking about -sort of like an 8-track I assume (just a fad).

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Whatever, Sony is the best in the field of Audio and Video. I have almost all new products from Sony. My mobile phone too is Sony Ericsson Walkman keitai. Soon going to buy new version of PS3 and Mylo.

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When sales of walkmans and i-phones are reported in technology its probably at least time to change the water in the think tank.

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"Sales of the iPhone are not included in the survey", And Sony is .9% ahead of Apple's iPod. Does this really mean that Sony is ahead of Apple? I DON'T THINK So.

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Sony has had a tough time in recent years in the face of the huge popularity of the iPod and other rival products such as Nintendo’s Wii

I fail to see how the Wii (A game console) is a competitor to the Walkman (portable media player). Who the heck writes these articles? They obviously know very little about tech gadgets.

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I wonder if the people here commenting about "using the iPhone as a music player is for idiots" actually use or own an iPhone. I have owned every iPod since it's debut and I can tell you that even though the 32GB on the iPhone may seem paltry, it really isn't. I have several movies, podcasts, audio books, TV shows, music videos and decent amount of music etc... on my iPhone. Not to mention emails with attachments, all of my contacts, my schedule etc... and I'm still amazed that I have room left over. I mean really how much media do you need to carry around with you in your pocket at any given time? Unless your daily commute is from Okinawa to Hokkaido, the iPhone's 32GB will serve you just fine. It should be also noted that because of the large number of people buying iPods and iPhones, it has driven down the price of Flash based memory which has opened the market for SSD harddrives in Notebook and Netbook PCs, Flash memory for video cameras and DSLRs and eventually desktop PCs. Thanks Apple. What has Sony done besides try to be another Microsoft by trying to tie the industry into their own proprietary formats like the stupid and ill-fated ATRAC introduced with the first digital Walkman. Thank god that wasn't a hit. Poor Audio quality in an extremely compressed data format, No thanks. And speaking of file formats, all of the aforementioned music on my iPhone is in Apple's Lossless data format (NOT MP3) given me sonically lossless sound indistinguishable from the original. Although it's file size is larger than standard MP3s, I'm still able to get a lot of music onto my paltry 32GB iPhone. Way to go Apple. Nuff said!

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Oooops I forgot to mention a few games and a lot of useful apps as well.

I didn't find any good use of the Apple stuff, yet.

Really "Jaegger" it seems like you're the idiot! No use for Apple stuff? Almost everything useful that has evolved in media entertainment in the past decade is a result of Apple's involvement.

Where would digital animation be without Pixar? Where would digital media download be with Apple's iTunes Store? Where would open standard formats like H.264, AAC, MP3 and Blu-Ray (which is based on H.264), HDMI etc... be without Apple's push for open media standards rather than closed proprietary formats like some companies with their own agenda?

If you own a high end video camera, more than likely you attach it to your computer by a Firewire cable (another Apple invention). Oh and even your beloved USB port on your computer. Apple didn't invent it, but they were the first to include it on a computer and push for it's acceptance as a standard.

Interfacing with a computer with a keyboard and mouse? Apple again. Touchscreen on a portable digital device? Wow! Apple again! Apple has always pushed for standards that make using electronic and digital gadgets easier to use.

"No good use of Apple stuff?" Dude you must have slept through the past five years or just don't know much about technology.

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I love my new iPhone. Both my iPods are not working. Taking them to Ginza Apple Care to see if they can be revived. Disappointed in the iPod's swan songs, but as for the iPhone, I totally agree with DarkKnightNine.

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Good luck buying an iphone from softbank, they now require payment by credit card only by foreigners. Other phones regular contracts are fine. Japanese can buy iphones on regular contracts. Softbank's discrimination based on nationality sucks. Hope Apple goes belly up when Steve Jobs does after their crap treatment of foreigners in Japan. Go Go Go Sony and Docomo and AU.

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Good luck buying an iphone from softbank, they now require payment by credit card only by foreigners. Other phones regular contracts are fine. Japanese can buy iphones on regular contracts. Softbank's discrimination based on nationality sucks. Hope Apple goes belly up when Steve Jobs does after their crap treatment of foreigners in Japan. Go Go Go Sony and Docomo and AU.

spudman, I totally understand your frustration with Softbank, I had to get my girlfriend's mother to get my iPhone because I don't have a credit card (by choice, I hate them) and because my girlfriend already has an iPhone and apparently you're not allowed to buy more than one (also a stupid rule). Imagine the hell we had to go through to convince my future mother-in-law to sign off on that because of Softbank's discrimination. I can't for the life of me figure out why Apple went with Softbank for the launch of iPhone in Japan, they have the absolute worse service of all the carriers. AU and DoCoMo are leagues ahead as far as service and customer care is concerned. But I suspect Apple just wanted to get the iPhone into this market and created a following first, so they went with the carrier that had the easiest terms for THEM! Now that they are here, I suspect sometime in the future we will see this being tied to one carrier business model dissolve. If not, you can forget about the iPhone's future in Japan or the U.S. for that matter because ATT is just as bad as Softbank.

Apple has made some awesome choices, but choosing Softbank as their exclusive carrier in Japan has got to be one of their worst ever!

Moderator: Back on topic please. The subject is the Walkman outselling the iPod.

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I would have to agree with all of the posters here that although the iPod and iPhone rock as far as GUI and usability, the sound is atrocious! The supplied Apple earbuds are garbage at best. However, the iPhone becomes a different device when you pair it V-Moda earbuds. Awesome sound! I haven't heard the Walkman but Sony generally makes great sounding products, so I would assume that the Walkman sounds great. Before I bought my V-Moda earbuds, I used Sony's earbuds exclusively. And the sound on my PSP is awesome, although I wish Sony hadn't decided to limit the volume. If any Sony product could give the iPod a run for it's money, I would say it's the PSP. Freakin' awesome gadget and in many ways way better than the iPod. The only problem is once again, Sony screwed the pooch with it's proprietary format the UMD. When will Sony learn that trying to force closed media formats on the general public is just bad business? Until they learn that lesson, they will always lose to the likes of Apple.

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I have a recent Sony walkman. They made great offers (radio, good earplugs, good louspeaker include for 1/3 price of same memory size ipods), plus it can be plugged to my old (antique ?) CD-player and record my too-old-to-be-read-by-computer CDs. Even my grand-dad that has no computer could use it. I'm not suprised they sell well.

Of course, many people have the music on their phones/mini-computers, especially geeks. The walkman is for elderly, or an additional player you get to do sports, to occasionnaly lend to friends... so you don't cry if it gets damaged. I think mostly the first-price simple models will stay.

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Personally I hope Bono and the dancing chicks from those initial ipod commercials all choke on an ipod. I'm tired of seeing so many accessories--heck even cars with built-in stuff--geared toward the ipod alone. Personally I refuse to ever invest in a product which is more expensive just because of a brand logo on it, let alone something which tries to have as many proprietary things about it as possible.

My mp3 player is a Sansa, and it works great just using drag-and-drop from my PC. It has NEVER told me "You need to upgrade to the latest version" of ANYTHING.

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It's not so much about Apple trying to figure out what the Japanese like, as it is Sony, who needs to figure out what the rest of the world wants. Here's a clue - we don't need Big Brother to tell us what media we can and can't play. There's a start. The rest has been spelled out ad nauseum by tech pundits over the last couple of decades. Sony is a perfect representative of Japan; stubborn, and very slow to change.

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That walkmen are selling well recently doesn't surprise me. The X-Series ones are very cool - good sound, excellent youtube playback, great screen - but a bit overpriced. The other cheaper models are all pretty good, especially the ones that don't require Sonic Stage.

The problem with Sony right now is that they're trying to copy Apple too much by making slightly up-market versions of everything and then pasting on a Sony tax. Take the X-series walkmen, the Vaio type P, or the new PSP Go. They all have distinct looks and some neat features but carry a pricetag that's just not reasonable for what they actually do.

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I'm a foreigner and I don't need to pay for my Softbank iPhone via credit card - sounds like you guys got hosed.

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Take the X-series walkmen, the Vaio type P, or the new PSP Go. They all have distinct looks and some neat features but carry a pricetag that's just not reasonable for what they actually do.

Exactly. I own an iPod Touch but rarely use it as a music player. Instead I use it for the job loaded with software specifically written for my professional needs. I also carry around data bases and presentations which I can connect to any digital projector. In addition I use it as a phone internationally - anywhere with WiFi - without worrying about telephone contracts and local standards.

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I've been using mp3 players around 10 years or so now, and never owned an iPod.

Let me change the battery! Let me copy files on and off my player at will. Let me use my own software to move files. It's far too restrictive.

Unfortunately there doesnt seem to be much choice in the market anymore, and I worry if my current player dies, I'll have to buy one.

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Here's a clue - we don't need Big Brother to tell us what media we can and can't play.

Exactly. It's the reason why I stopped owning an iPod. It was too restrictive as far as what kind of music I could listen to. Apple needs to realize that it can't impose its tastes on the public. But then again, Steve Jobs and Co. are indicative of Silicon valley: too stubborn and slow to change.

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