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Analysis Of Product Life Cycle Of Sony Walkman Example Paper

Analysis Of Product Life Cycle Of Sony Walkman Example Paper


“Sony” name was the combination of two words which are “sonus” come from Latin which means the root of sonic and sound meanwhile another word is “sonny”, a common slang used in 1950s in America to call a teenage boy. In Japan, “sonny boys” was a word in Japanese, which indicated keen and presentable young men. Thus, Akio Morita and Masaru Ibuka, the founder of Sony considered the name “Sony” to be their company name. [image: Image result for sony logo png]Sony logoSony Corporation is a Japanese multinational company corporation headquartered in Konan, Minato, Tokyo. Sony Corporation was ranked 97th on the 2018 Fortune Global 500 list. Sony is one of the largest business in Japan during the era and its diversified of business. Analysis Of Product Life Cycle Of Sony Walkman Example Paper

For example, Sony expand their business includes electronics, gaming, entertainment, financial services and many more. Sony is well-known for their high quality electronic products and professional markets. Besides that, Sony is the first company whom owns the largest music entertainment business in the world. Sony is the electronics business which involved in business through its four operating components. Firstly, electronics like information technology (IT), communication products, semiconductors, video games, network services and medical business. Next, motion pictures in movies, animation and TV shows. Thirdly, music publishing and record labels and lastly financial services such as banking and insurance. These operating components make Sony one of the most comprehensive entertainment companies in the world. Sony leads in sales since 2015 and the fifth largest television manufacturer in the world after Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics and TCL. Analysis Of Product Life Cycle Of Sony Walkman Example Paper

Sony’s mission, “A company that inspires and fulfills your curiosity”. Meanwhile their vision is “Using our unlimited passion for technology, content and services to deliver pioneering new excitement and entertainment, as only Sony can”. Sony current slogan is “Be Moved”. Their previous slogans were “The One and Only”, “It’s a Sony”, “Go Create”, “like. no. other”, and “make. believe”. Walkman was introduced by Sony on 1st July 1979. Sony Walkman is a series of portable media players or called as MP3 players. The original Walkman was released in the year of 1979, was a portable cassette player that changed listening habits by letting people to listen to music whie moving around anytime and anywhere. It was invented by Sony cofounder Masaru Ibuka, who felt Sony’s existing portable player was too bulky and expensive. The Walkman was followed by a series of international releases, as overseas sales companies opposed to the Japanese-English name, it was sold under several names such as Soundabout in the United States, Freestyle in Sweden, and Stowaway in the UK. Eventually, Walkman become recognizable globally and Sony used the name worldwide. Sony continues to use the Walkman brand for most of its portable audio devices and Sony Walkman keeps on improve their portable media players device to catch up with the trend and technology era. Unfortunately, Sony Walkman demand started to cease and on the 25th October 2010, Sony Walkman no longer in the market.Analysis Of Product Life Cycle Of Sony Walkman Example Paper

Stage 1: Product Life Cycle of Sony Walkman

Sony Walkman was developed in the Sony Research Centre of Yokohama in Japan. Sony Walkman is a product for portable media players. It was invented by Sony cofounder which is Masaru Ibuka, who felt Sony’s existing portable player was too heavy and expensive. Sony invested billions in their research and development (R&D) process which went on in 4 corporate laboratories by 9 development groups spread all over the globe.


The very first Sony Walkman invented was the Sony Walkman TPS L2. It was released on July 1, 1979. Its feature is silver and blue in colour with flashy big buttons that costed around $200. Sony started to launch their first model by holding a press announcement at Yoyogi Park in Yoyogikamizonocho, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan. It became extremely popular from autumn to the year-end, which kept it out of stock for a while. Besides TPS L2, Sony Walkman Sports WM-B52, the iconic so called ‘Yellow Monster’ Walkman released in the year of 1988. Both of the portable media player were too big and it made customers feel inconvenient and uncomfortable. Initially Walkman was launched in US with the name of Sound-About and in UK with Stowaway. Sony had predicted sale of only 5000 units in the month, but to their surprise, Walkman sales demand more than 50,000 in the first two months. Even though they know it’s getting well-known, they realize pricing was a significant consideration since it had to be affordable for everyone. Their main target demographic aim on the youth. Sony wanted the device to be associated with fitness, youth and mobility. So, they agreed on a sale price of ¥33,000. By combining the features of mobility and privacy, the Walkman has contributed to an important change in consumer lifestyle.Analysis Of Product Life Cycle Of Sony Walkman Example Paper

Furthermore, in order to get customers attention, Sony’s marketing team created their first advertisement, a print advertisement, in 1979 named Bridging the difference. The marketing of the Walkman introduced the idea of ‘Japanese-ness’ into global culture, identical with reduction and high-technology. While it was also launched as Walkman in Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. It was launched as Freestyle in Sweden, since the Sony staff in Sweden objected to the illegal implications of the term “stowaway”. Thus, Sony uses of these different names meant that the same product had to be promoted with different logos and package designs to different country to deliver the right message to customers. Before the release of the Sony Walkman, Sony Corporation distributed 100 cassette-players to influential individuals like magazine editors and musicians to inspire potential customers like the youth.Analysis Of Product Life Cycle Of Sony Walkman Example Paper

Stage 2: Growth

Sony Walkman WM-101Since they realize and found out that the problem of Walkman which is heavy, expensive and outdated, Sony started presenting new models of Walkman. Innovation and a little changes on minor product once a year. There was a launch of a special anniversary model in 1st July every year to ensure customers especially the youth to have brand loyalty towards them. Major model changes that require the introduction of new technology occurred only once every three to five years. Sony strategized to prolong the products life in the marketplace. For example, the first Walkman with rechargeable batteries, slimmer than its forerunners, the Sony Walkman WM-101. This product is the first model in its class to adopt a “gum stick” like rechargeable battery and accommodated AA batteries as well. This device greatly reduced battery costs and weighed under 200g. It is light and ease to carry. Sales soon started moving towards an increasing trend with a total of 220 million Walkman being sold. Aiwa HS-PX101 was Sony Walkman WM-101 product competitor during that time. The Aiwa portable media player was almost similar as WM-101. Function, size, sound quality, price and others being compared. This cause Sony Walkman WM-101 face a big crisis. Thus, Sony tried to innovate something which haven’t exist in the market which is compact disc player, the Discman. Analysis Of Product Life Cycle Of Sony Walkman Example Paper

Stage 3: Maturity

At this stage, from the year of 1990 to 2013, Sony started facing sharp competition from Toshiba’s Walky, Aiwa’s CassetteBoy, Apple Inc. , and Panasonic. Sony also launched the compact disc player, the Discman, in 1984. As cassette’s started getting obsolete with the advent of CD’s, Sony started marketing its Discman range with the name Walkman. Recognition of Sony portable media player getting wider where the highest sales as of March 31, 2009 385 million units were sold. [image: ]On top of that, since Sony faces many competitors, they feel the urge to innovate more unique products such as Sony CD Walkman D-E01, Sony’s first ‘Discman’ was released in 1984, but the company changed the name with ‘CD-Walkman’ in 1999. This product was launched on the special 15th anniversary edition CD Walkman. Featuring a radiant silver finish and chrome-plated control and eject buttons. The windows on the unit and remote control have a luxurious dividing coating. In the term of performance, an extremely effective anti-skip technology (G-Protection) marks an advance in this player and represents a shift from similar memory-based systems. The price of the product when it released in 2000 was about $549. Cumulative shipment total of 186 million units as of the end of the fiscal year ended March 31, 1999. It was market globally especially towards Asian and Western countries.Analysis Of Product Life Cycle Of Sony Walkman Example Paper


In the year of 2004, Sony Walkman NW-HD1 was launched. NW-HD1 came with 20 gigabytes of storage and have prolong battery for 30 hours of continuous playback. Pricing is $400, which it was too pricey to compete seriously with the first iPod, the iPod Shuffle which cost lower than Walkman NW-HD1, $299. Nevertheless, NW-HD1 was Sony’s first Network Walkman to use a hard disc drive as the storage medium. Various other hard disc music players had been available on the market for some time and Sony themselves had made a few flash memory digital music players.

Sony Corporation then innovated new Network Walkman flash players. There are various type of model such as NW-E505, NW-E507, NW-E405, and NW-E407. The main flash player is Sony Walkman NW-E505. This MP3 player was released in 2005. It had drastic changes on its design because the inventor was inspired by a bottle of perfume. The size of Walkman flash player is small but it has 512 MB of storage. Product features for this where it has three-line organic electroluminescence displays, up to 50 hours of battery life. Not only that, user are advisable to connect directly to their PC via USB to get a quick hit of three hours of playback time after just three minutes of charging. Moreover, NW-E505 and the other 3 models have native support for playback of MP3 files, as well as ATRAC3, ATRAC3plus, WMA, and WAV. Among four of the model, the NW-E405 model will sell for $130 which is the cheapest, followed by NW-E505 for $150, NW-407 for $180, while the NW-E507 have the highest pricing which cost at $200. Still, Sony Walkman NW-E505 competitor was the iPod Shuffle.Analysis Of Product Life Cycle Of Sony Walkman Example Paper

The Sony Walkman NW-X1050 has 16 gigabytes and Sony Walkman NW-X1060 has 32 gigabytes. In addition, Walkman X series is the first Sony flash memory based Walkman that features OLED display, touch screen and S-Master digital amplifier technologies. Both X Series are available for touchscreen display and web browser with Wi-Fi support. These Walkman X Series was Sony’s first touchscreen Walkman (NW-X series). It debuted in Japan in April 2009, and then Sony expand its market that available in North America, Europe, China, Taiwan and other places. The NW-X1050 with 16GB will cost US$403 and the NW-X1060 with 32GB will cost US$503. On 2nd April, the NWZ-X1060 was launched in the Taiwan market at a recommended retail price of NT$15,900 (US$470). With these X Series, user are able to download YouTube videos. The Walkman X Series will give serious rivalry to the popular Apple iPod products, precisely the iPod Touch. The first high-resolution audio player in Walkman history, the Sony Walkman NW-F880 series was released in 2013. Sony launched two new Walkman players based on Android called the NW-F880 and NW-ZX1.Analysis Of Product Life Cycle Of Sony Walkman Example Paper

These audio players run on Android 4. 1 Jelly Bean. Both of these Walkman players will be launched in Japan for prices starting from $275 and way up to $750 depend on its colour or specification. Sony Walkman NW-F880 available in white, pink, black, and blue colour variants. Furthermore, it comes in three storage variants which available for 16 gigabytes, 32 gigabytes and 64 gigabytes. Its feature with high resolution display 480×854, 1 gigabyte of random access memory (RAM), Near Field Communication (NFC), Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and FM Radio. The SNW-ZX1 is quite comparable to the NW-F880 in terms of hardware, but it comes with larger memory storage up to 128 gigabytes. The lack where NW-ZX1 will be only available in Silver colour. Sony Walkman NW-F880 and NW-ZX1 started to sell from October 19 in Japan only. Sony did not given out details on the global roll out for these Walkman players.

Distribution for Sony Walkman SNW-ZX1 has only been announced for Japan only. On the other hand, Sony Walkman NW-F880 will go for international where it retail for £259 in Europe.Analysis Of Product Life Cycle Of Sony Walkman Example Paper

Stage 4: Decline

When Sony Walkman NW-ZX1 launched on 2013, demand for portable media player is declining. This is due to the rise of smartphone era where competitors from Apple and Samsung. For example, Apple iPhone 4 and Samsung Focus. Walkman NW-ZX1 may have a very good sound quality, huge internal memory (128GB), supports music files up to 24/192 resolution and a built-in digital amplifier S-Master HX. Unfortunately, not many demand from customers and sales are declining due to frauds of the product. The system was outdated since Sony decided not to release the update. It also have small resolution and just a medium-sized screen, making this device average and limited when it comes to doing something more than basic operations such as calling, internet browsing, gaming, camera and others. It was quite pricy too and there was no SD card slot. Clearly to be said that NW-ZX1 design almost similar with a smartphone but it usage is restricted for music only.

Meanwhile, smartphone can function in many ways and affordable too. Sony Walkman NW-ZX1After Walkman had its share of fame over its lifecycle of 20 years, the time for bidding it goodbye came its way. Being market leader in portable players, the company decided to retain Walkman as name and scrapped name Discman. And this how Walkman had paved way for the portable players. In 25th October 2010, Sony announced that they would stop its production in Japan from that very month and no longer portable media player or MP3 player produced by Sony.Analysis Of Product Life Cycle Of Sony Walkman Example Paper


Overall, Sony had a good innovation and strategy to attract customers throughout the years. Back then, there were not many organization whom produce this type of product thus there were not many competitor and Sony had good marketing strategy to remain as the best brand for a portable media player. Moreover, Sony had good planning for their distribution to the Asian and Western area and to influencer. They done some advertisement and keep on launching new product. Their pricing strategy is effective because their target was the youth so they make it affordable. The future for Sony to rise is not too late for Sony to regain power in the portable music market. If Sony implements a strategy that plays to their strengths and exploits Apple’s iPod, Aiwa and others weaknesses, they may be able to bring back the almighty Walkman. The possibility for Sony to rise by aiming on differentiating their product via new features, improving the Sony Connect music store, and launching an aggressive marketing campaign, doing survey from customers, research and development (R&D) and understanding the trend nowadays so that Sony are able to compete with their biggest competitor, iPod and conquer the music world. Analysis Of Product Life Cycle Of Sony Walkman Example Paper


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