Sony Ericsson Set To Unveil Walkman Phones

Trafficking on the success of the Walkman, which sold 340 million units since 1979, SonyEricsson chief Miles Flint told Reuters here in Cannes that it intends to ship “digital Walkman phones” in March. The new phones will get access to Sony’s online music service, called “Connect”. But we’ve talked about disConnect here before: we find the service another crippling attempt at not just DRM, but also locking customers in to a proprietary music format and store. One fact is perfectly obvious to Techdirt, but apparently not to Sony: Sony would NOT have sold 640M Walkman units if it decided to use a proprietary tape format instead of the standard audio cassette. How can a company so consistently mis-guidedly not follow their own example? There are business school case studies on Sony’s failure with Betamax, and success with the Walkman. Hasn’t Sony read them? Note: We corrected the number of shipped Walkmans from 640M to 340M.

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