Walkman Outsells iPods in Japan, Can Wristwatch Nano Change That?


The Sony Walkman NW-E042, which helped the Japanese electronics giant squeak past Apple sales.

Sales of Sony’s MP3 Walkman briefly outsold iPods in Japan again, but that was before the iPod Nano “wristwatch” hit the scene.

This small victory also happened at the same time last year in Japan, during the not-so-retailing frenzied month of August.

Survey results from Tokyo-based BCN (Google translated version here) show that 2010 August sales figures have the Walkman grabbing 47.8 percent share of the portable music player market, while Apple captured 44 percent.

If that seems like a slender victory, in 2009 Sony squeaked by Apple MP3 player sales by just 43 percent, creeping above Apple’s 42.1 percent.

BCN says that the two electronics titans currently hold 90 percent of the market and that the slight edge Sony had during the August selling slump may not hold out with the refreshed Apple iPod lineup.

The most popular Sony Walkman was the Sony NW-E042, a 2GB shuffle-like device launched in May that retails for about $80 or 8,000 yen.

Will Japan go gadget-crazy over the new iPods?