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Floppy Disk Era Ends as Sony Halts Sale of 3.5-Inchers in Japan

For the past few years, a beloved staple of our technological upbringing has been dying a slow, painful death before our very eyes. Now, one major company has taken it upon itself to pull the plug on its trademark floppy disk, effectively putting an end to the 3.5-inch era.

On April 23rd, Sony announced that it would begin phasing out the sale of its floppy disks in Japan, confirming that all sales within the country will come to a complete halt in March 2011. The decision comes a month after Sony discontinued the vast majority of its global floppies, although the company says it will continue to market the disks in a handful of niche countries, like India. According to the Examiner, Sony accounted for a full 40-percent of worldwide floppy disk sales in 2008, including 70-percent of the Japanese market. Recent years, however, have seen a steep decline in demand, as devices like USB sticks, CDs and DVDs have gradually encroached upon the floppy disk's once existent market hegemony. In 2000, for example, Sony sold 47 million disks in Japan alone. In 2009, though, it only managed to move 8.5 million -- which, if you think about it, is still a pretty impressive feat, considering that hardly any recently built computers actually support 3.5-inch disks.

We all knew, of course, that the floppy's death knell would eventually sound, and that we'd have to say our goodbyes at one point or another. Considering how rapidly the technological life expectancy has decreased in recent years, it's remarkable that the little guy managed to hang on for so long. Sony's announcement may simply affirm the inevitable, but it still leaves us feeling a bit wistful about an era that's now officially bygone. [From: Examiner; via: Geeoksystem]

Tags: business, floppy, FloppyDisk, FloppyDisks, Japan, money, obsolete, sony, storage, top