The good old Sony Walkman has beaten the shiny new Apple iPod to the top spot in a list of the 50 Greatest Gadgets for the past 50 Years. The original portable, personal music device by Sony was first launched in 1979.
You can see the full roster of the best gizmos in the half century gone by on the PC World website. The iconic blue and silver-colored Sony Walkman TPS-L2 takes the number one place, with Apple’s iPod at its heels.
As PC World editor-in-chief, Harry McCracken, notes, the Walkman laid the groundwork for the iPod. Personal audio was not a thing before that. Everything cool about the iPod originated with the Sony Walkman.
What’s more, the release of this venerable music player in 1979 also ties in with the development of decent, portable headphones to go along with it. Before that, all consumers had were the bulky headphones that connected to their home stereo systems.
Replay TV and TiVo actually tied for the third place in said list. The PalmPilot 1000 PDA which was launched in 1996 and Sony CDP-101 compact disc player that made its debut in 1982, took the number 4 and number 5 spots, respectively.
The Regency TR-1 from 1954 was ranked 10th in this roster even though it did not make a significant dent in terms of sales because it is widely recognized as the first transistor radio – a big leap in terms of portable personal gadgets.
It would seem unfair then that Mattel’s excellent Intellivision video game console of the late 1970s was left out of the list since it wasn’t very popular among consumers. But it did have tougher competition in the form of Atari.
Other honorable mentions from the list include the Kodak Instamatic 100 camera which was very famous in the 1960s, the Diamond Multimedia Rio PMP300 MP3 digital audio player, the Motorola StarTAC flip phone, the M-Systems DiskOnKey plug-and-play USB drive, the Sony PlayStation 2 and the MITS Altair 8800.
Source: PC World