Sony's iconic cassette-playing Walkman that introduced the concept of portable music for millions of people will soon disappear from store shelves in Japan. The consumer electronics company announced that it will no longer sell the tape-based player in Japan, where it will be available only as long as supplies last. Sony, has already stopped selling the device in the U.S. However, the venerable Walkman, first introduced in 1979, won't disappear completely from the world's stage of portable music players. Sony has sold the rights to the name to a Chinese manufacturer that will continue selling the device in overseas markets, including the U.S., according to the Associated Press. More than 20 years before Apple introduced the iPod, Sony's Walkman was on its way to becoming a global hit. The company has sold 220 million Walkman cassette players worldwide over three decades, with the majority -- 186 million -- sold by 1999.
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