The Walkman is a name given by the pioneers “SONY” to the portable music system. Launched in late 1970s, it has evolved significantly till date with various technological advancements giving a tough competition to other firms in the field. With the launch of Walkman people felt it easier to listen to music while on the move.
Sony Walkman NW – e505 was launched in the year 2005. With a sleek body like a cigarette lighter and twin jacks for 2 headphones at the same time, this made a boom in the market with its initial launch. A 512mb music player with multi language options and a very high battery life was owned by most of the music lovers giving the competitors a tough time. It had up to 50 hours of playback battery life, which was also an important factor for its success.
The main purpose of this product was to get users listen to music anytime and anywhere. This product was chosen because the NW- e505 Walkman was one of the kind portable players during its launch. When there was an increase in portable music systems like stereos and radios, this Walkman was more of a style statement. It was small and handy to carry and had a better battery standby compared to other music systems. Sony launched this Walkman after they experimented on disc Walkman. This product served its purpose but was short lived. It had a built in FM tuner and storage of 512mb (approximately 340 songs) and high-speed data transfer through USB.
After the launch of this Walkman Apple Inc. came up with a technologically advanced version of portable music players called the “iPod Nano” and “iPod touch”. The usability and features were advanced that made the users to turn its head towards them. The user interface of the iPod Nano was way more interactive than the Sonic stage software used in the Walkman. The buttons positioning and hardware were components of the Walkman were not that usable compared to the iPod. Apple used durable and stylish hardware to give the music player a different and stylish look. Even though the prices of iPod Nano were high the market turned itself towards the iPod because of its interface and touch features while the Walkman did not have touch features and was still using buttons. Apple gave the users a new cool factor with the launch of iPod Nano.
Sony Walkman NW E-505 had equal pros and cons. Its critically acclaimed battery life and sound quality were appreciated but at the some time its pricing and hardware components gave a pathway to its competitor iPod Nano to take over.
Storage memory of 512mb with high speed data transfer via USB. It supports mp3, WAV and WMA formats. It contains rechargeable battery with a Continuous playback life of 45 hours and standby life of 53 hours. It supports bit rate from 32 to 320 Kbps.
Sony could have properly incorporated new technical features to this model of Walkman to make it perform more in the market. The software to link the mp3 player to the pc called “Sonic stage” was not very interactive compared to iTunes. iTunes had regular updates playlist libraries and cloud sync while Sonic stage did not possess any. Capacitive touch could have made the Walkman perform even better. iPods used capacitive touch features while Walkman was still with the buttons. Some buttons were also placed at positions which were difficult to press. Sonic stage was just merely a software to connect the mp3 player with PC but iTunes helped manage the songs in the pc and sync them with the iPod.
If you want to search for artists or music files in the Walkman it is very tedious. As only 12 characters can be viewed in the Walkman screen, choosing a file name with more than 12 characters is tough. The GUI of iPods has always fascinated the users when compared to the Walkman.
Sony conducts CSR programs to recycle its disposed products. Sony Take back recycling program was introduced by Sony to get back their disposed products for recycling. As of march 2017 they have accumulated around 222,727 tons of electronic scrap.
Functional mp3 players are traded to a recycler. Where they use the electronic parts or resell as second hand units. Broken and non-functional players are recycled. They are dismantled and broken in bulk and disposed. Only after the check for reparability the mp3 players are incinerated. E waste management has considerably improved but still requires lot of attention.
SUITABILITY and CONCLUSION
The walkman had performed really well in the market during its launch. Users appreciated the critical battery life and performance of the product but it failed to overcome its competitors over time.
This business cycle has its own advantage and disadvantages. The advantage of the cycle is with every downfall of a product a new advancement arises. This creates a healthy competition and technological advancement.
The disadvantage is every time a downfall happens there has to be a new idea to upraise the curve. Demand will increase with growth. This will cause an inflation effect on the economy.
My recommendation would be that companies producing products have to always be vigilante by knowing the markets needs and not letting their product to a downfall. Immediate tweaks to the product will always keep the product on the run.
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