Overseas sales companies objected to the name “Walkman” as they felt it was too much of a Japanese-English name, and proposed others.
Sony America initially suggested “Disco Jogger”, which was not chosen because it would have limited appeal.
Walkman is a Sony brand tradename, originally used for portable audio cassette players from the late 1970s onwards.
In later years, it has been used by Sony to market digital portable audio/video players, as well as a line of mobile phones introduced in 2005.
The Walkman was devised by Sony co-founder Masaru Ibuka, and first built by audio-division engineers Nobutosi Kiraha and Kozo Osohne in 1979.
Ibuka loved listening to opera on his frequent trans-Pacific flights, but felt Sony's existing portable player - the notebook-sized, five pound TC-D5 - was far too unwieldy for everyday use, and far too expensive to ever sell successfully.
This could turn everyday tasks like commuting and running into pleasurable experiences, give commuters a sense of privacy, and add a soundtrack to urban surroundings.
When the follow-up model, "Walkman II" came out, the "hotline" button was phased out though it was retained on the WM-R2, WM-3, WM-3EX and several models.
Amid fierce competition, primarily from Toshiba (the Walky), Aiwa (the Cassette Boy) and Panasonic (the Mi Jockey), by the late 1980s, In 1982 Sony introduced the Walkman DD Series, the first model of this series was the WM-DD. Sony upped the ante once again by creating the playback-only WM-DD9, launched in 1989 during the 10th anniversary of the Walkman (five years after the WM-D6C) and became the holy grail for a niche group of cassette Walkman collectors.
Its only features are Dolby B/C noise reduction, EX DBB bass boost, tape and two auto reverse modes.
By the late 1990s, the cassette-based Walkman was generally passed over in favor of the emerging digital technologies of CD, DAT and Mini Disc.