Sony Ericsson to Revitalize the Walkman Brand With Android?


Remember Walkman? It used to be a symbol of status in the world of personal media devices and cell phones. I’m not sure where the healthy train derailed, but Sony Ericsson might not be standing still when it comes to getting the brand back on its well oiled track.


That new burst of energy might come our way courtesy of Android, according to SE enthusiast blog SEMC. The new Walkman-branded device would take on a form-factor similar to SE’s latest offering – the Xperia X10 Mini – sporting a 2.6-inch TFT touchscreen display, a 5-megapixel camera, and “a powerful Walkman player”.

It’s said that the interface will be different from what we’ve seen on Xperia phones, though. We’ll keep tabs on this story as it develops, but let’s answer a quick question: do any of you really care about the Walkman making a comeback? I for one think that its profile has just gotten slightly better if we do see the brand walking back to pockets with Android installed.

[via Unwired View]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. They should call it Talkman.

  2. Does this mean we’ll FINALLY see an EQ for Android’s music player?

  3. I think they have a market opportunity if they can create a compelling iPod/iTunes competitor. They would have to get lots of content, ala iTunes, and a good UI, but you would think Sony has the corporate pull to do these things. Then, you have Android which basically enables them to do everything an iPod touch could do. Apple sells a ton of iPod touches, and they have a lot of margin. If Sony can beat them on price I would sure consider one (if I was in the market).

  4. ahh…the walkman series of sony ericsson phones! i used to own 3 such phones progressively when it was in the vogue and they really had a sizeable hold on the market from where i live! would be simply awesome to combine walkman series phones with android! but just make sure it’s released with 2.1, not 1.6 :/

  5. This is exactly what I’ve been waiting for! :)

    As Bruce said, there’s not a good, well-known competitor to the iPod, which frankly, is shocking. I like the Zen X-Fi from creative, but adding Android would be awesome.

    Take a nice touchscreen phone(the display doesn’t have to be huge, the size quoted in the article is fine) rip out the guts of the phone hardware(obviously leave wifi in there) and you’ve likely got an awesome device.

    I’m sure Sony would want to do their own thing, but if it could integrate really well(as in, do more than just run the software) with Spotify, that’d be awesome too. They have an API, after all.

    Sony actually have the cash and brand to be able to do a nice media campaign and get attention. Make it somewhat cheaper than the iPod and you’ve got a winner.

  6. If it is a PMP only like the iPod Touch then cool, VERY cool! If it is a phone.. ummm… no.

  7. This is a great idea! I agree with Bruce, but after the technical stuff is done, and the content is lined up, they’d have to advertise this thing EVERYWHERE round the clock.

    Oh, and they should probably make it so that any other competing mp3 player can work with whatever iTunes type marketplace they’ll have. The original Walkman was open, you could play your cassettes in other tape players.

  8. Wow!

    Now if it will do Audio/Video AND have a connection to the Android Market, that would be SWEET!

    Very much an iDon’t Touch competitor!

    Oh, and add HDMI out as a feature to while your at it!

  9. Love the walkman series. I still use one for running all the time. This can only be a good thing.

  10. I loved my Walkman phones, to see them combined w/ Android would be spectacular. Would prefer the screen to be 3.2″ at least, though.

  11. i would love to get rid of my iPod touch that i barely use and have an old school media player with a new school twist

  12. if anyone can pull off an iPod competitor, it would be Sony. Creative has the specs but not the style. Sony’s got the style…and also the marketing.

  13. It derailed because for years you couldn’t use regular headphones. Instead of a 3.5 standard jack, the morons making these decisions there insisted on a “mini-port” forcing you to always carry around a cable if you wanted to ever actually use the stupid thing as a Walkman. They completely squandered their tech lead in this area all for a few extra cables sold at a high markup price. They betrayed the consumer too many times and they took their money elsewhere. I bet Sony had more to do with this than Ericsson. Also see – non-standard memory cards……

  14. I’d happily buy an Android Walkman if it was something along the lines of a portable media player (music, video, BBC iplayer etc). But what I’d like to see is it made to look like an old-school cassette Walkman.

  15. If they can fix the battery life to last as long as an ipod touch can then I’m all for it. Android is known to be a battery hog and a good mp3 should last 20+ hours, not 4-5 hours with “usable” brightness as is the case with my lovable G1.

  16. Two things required to make this device an iPod killer.

    1) It has to use the same connection and digital controls so I can connect to it and control it in my car the way I use my iPod. That’s the only reason I have an iPod, so this alone would sell me.

    2) Sync tunes wireless. I don’t know if this would mean my songs, podcasts, and video would sync to the cloud and then sync to the device (which would be killer) or if it would just sync to my PC via WiFi. Either is acceptable.

  17. There are already plenty of competitors out there to the iPod, with the most polished device being Microsoft’s Zune HD (which has received rave reviews):

    CNET Review: http://bit.ly/a3hcmt
    Engadget Review: http://bit.ly/WxPXx

    …and ZunePass is incredible.

    I do fault Microsoft however in not marketing the damned thing. I can’t remember ever seeing any ads for the Zune/Zune HD or commercials for it. And for the life of me don’t understand why they never sold it outside of the US?

    That’ll change however as the Zune Player software will be packaged within every Windows 7 phone sold this holiday season. :)

  18. If they try and bring the Walkman back they better put a lot of thought in the hardware and especially the sound quality of the machine. Graphic EQ (a full detailed EQ not some cheesy preset stuff), good user interface leaning towards the music side of things, line input with compression settings, optical i/o would be nice… just some thoughts. I own quite a few mp3 players and stuff but still to this day pull out my old minidisc player/recorder walkman to get some “on the fly” recordings. its just easier that way.. Id love to have a piece of updated software that had the options the older units had, especially with Android running it.

  19. A well running track is one WITHOUT oil guys ;) Take it from a railroader, the ONLY time you put lubricant on track is on some curves where the track gets a lot of abuse and stress, lubricators installed near the track push grease to the inside of the rails to help reduce wear on the track.

    As to the Sony Walkman, I think one reason why they failed is cheaper, just as capable devices came along and stole the show. If they can innovate and match the prices, the Walkman name will come back.

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