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View Full Version : iPods have caught on faster than Walkman did in the 80s


MacBytes
Nov 29, 2004, 07:52 PM
Category: Tunes
Link: iPods have caught on faster than Walkman did in the 80s (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20041129205205)
Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)

Approved by Mudbug

adamfilip
Nov 30, 2004, 12:01 AM
Im not actually surprised by this..

not because the ipod is a great product.

but the same can probably be said with most technologies.
the walkman came out before internet access to the public.

trends and news spreads faster then ever so its inevitable that the spread of a new gadget or technology would spread faster

nagromme
Nov 30, 2004, 01:17 AM
Having never owned a Walkman...

I wonder what the average price of Walkmans sold over its first 3 years was, vs. the average price of iPods sold (adjusted for inflation of course). I know cassette players then weren't throwaway-cheap like they are now, but I still suspect the iPod is pricier--a barrier it has managed to overcome. (Of course, it holds slightly more music than a cassette too. And plays Solitaire.)

Trowaman
Nov 30, 2004, 01:35 AM
Of course, there are also more people around now to buy products then there were 20 years ago. A more accurate question may be what percentage of the population owned a walkman then and what percentage of the population owns an iPod now? Just a thought . . .

Sharewaredemon
Nov 30, 2004, 07:49 AM
Well, it would seem to me that the Walkman had a harder time, if you think about it, because it was the first portable music player, so not only did people have to be convinced to buy it, they had to be convinced that they wanted it. With the iPod, having a portable music player is understood, and a norm, so it doesn't have as much of uphill struggle.

Savage Henry
Nov 30, 2004, 08:14 AM
Walkman was the only product in the only market of music players.

Today, there is a myriad of different markets of music players the consumer needs of which differ subtlely. iPod by my reckoning has had a harder time convincing those people already happy with their flashcard players, cd players, walkmans, mini disk players, to ditch them entirely and just go for the one product.

wordmunger
Nov 30, 2004, 08:21 AM
Having never owned a Walkman...

I wonder what the average price of Walkmans sold over its first 3 years was, vs. the average price of iPods sold (adjusted for inflation of course). I know cassette players then weren't throwaway-cheap like they are now, but I still suspect the iPod is pricier--a barrier it has managed to overcome. (Of course, it holds slightly more music than a cassette too. And plays Solitaire.)
When Walkmans were introduced they were over $100. That works out to right about $200 today. So the prices are indeed comparable.

I recall paying $130 for a tricked out Aiwa back then (it was da bomb--even had "auto reverse"), which would be more than a mini costs today.

wdlove
Nov 30, 2004, 09:02 AM
I didn't own a Sony Walkman, the price of $100 too steep. At the time didn't really have any use for the product. Would listen to my car radio. Now that I'm here in Boston and riding the MBTA, public transportation Bus & Trolley. A walkman makes more sense, but at the price of $200 adjusted for inflation would be too much. I dropped my old General Electric Cassett/Radio. So my wife purchased a Sony from amazon.com for $18. I'm a Radio talk show junkie so it fits my needs.

Accidents happen, so I couldn't justify an iPod.

Rasmuskl
Nov 30, 2004, 09:23 AM
A $100 in 1979 when the walkman was introduced (Do not know if that is the actual price), Would be
269.53 (http://www.westegg.com/inflation/) in 2003 dollars.

More than comperable. feature for feature and $ for $.

So heres to the iPod.

StarbucksSam
Nov 30, 2004, 10:00 AM
Heya,

iPods REALLY have caught on - WHERE there is MONEY. I went on a long trip with a bunch of rich kids this summer, and about 2/3 of them had iPods (I had one too, but I lost it at one point and someone found it thank god - random tangent). But where I live, in a... not so nice suburban area with people who aren't very... sophisticated (not to sound snobby) we don't see a whole lot of iPods.

wordmunger
Nov 30, 2004, 10:17 AM
A $100 in 1979 when the walkman was introduced (Do not know if that is the actual price), Would be
269.53 (http://www.westegg.com/inflation/) in 2003 dollars.

More than comperable. feature for feature and $ for $.

So heres to the iPod.
FYI, here's (http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl) a calculator that takes you all the way to 2004. Oddly, I get $262.95 with this one (my earlier post was calculating from 1982).

However, I just found this site (http://www.pocketcalculatorshow.com/walkman/history.html), which indicates that the Walkman was introduced at 33,000 yen, which translates to about $132. So THAT conversion to 2004 dollars is $347.09! Wow, these prices are amazingly similar!

nagromme
Nov 30, 2004, 11:45 AM
Of course, there are also more people around now to buy products then there were 20 years ago.
Very true.


When Walkmans were introduced they were over $100. That works out to right about $200 today. So the prices are indeed comparable.
Didn't the iPod cost $399 when introduced?

The average is another matter... with iPod having a wider range than Walkmans probably.

wordmunger
Nov 30, 2004, 12:12 PM
Didn't the iPod cost $399 when introduced?

The average is another matter... with iPod having a wider range than Walkmans probably.

I think you're right, but that was in 2001. I refigured the original Walkman to 2001 dollars and got $327.09. I'd say that's definitely in the same ballpark. This is a great comparison to make. By the mid '80s, you could get a Walkman (the real thing, not a copycat) for around $50, which suggests that by 2006 or so we should see iPods in the $90 range (inflation-adjusted from 1984).

virus1
Nov 30, 2004, 07:23 PM
Having never owned a Walkman...

I wonder what the average price of Walkmans sold over its first 3 years was, vs. the average price of iPods sold (adjusted for inflation of course). I know cassette players then weren't throwaway-cheap like they are now, but I still suspect the iPod is pricier--a barrier it has managed to overcome. (Of course, it holds slightly more music than a cassette too. And plays Solitaire.)

very true... but i am still not surprised about this