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It seems that the Japanese research firm BCN has uncovered a factoid so illogical that it could very well rip a hole in the fabric of the universe. In August, for the first time in close to a decade, Sony's venerable Walkman out sold the iPod in Japan by 3.8%, with the devices holding a 47.8% and 44% market share, respectively. BCN announced that Sony's climb to the top of the MP3 player dog pile is the first time since 2001 that the Japanese company has been able to outstrip the the success of the Apple's multimedia darling.
Is it a sign that Apple's planetary reign of awesome is coming to an end? Sony and any number of the world's electronics manufacturers would wish it to be so, but most likely, it's not the case.
BCN's analysis of their findings suggest that while Sony may have come out on top in August, it was most likely due to consumer hesitation to purchase an Apple product in the face of the Apple hardware refresh that became a reality yesterday at Apple's music event. Wanting to have the latest, greatest technology, consumers may have been purchasing more affordable MP3 devices to feed their need for portable music until the more desirable Apple products became available. It was also speculated that some of the MP3 player marketshare enjoyed by Apple over the last decade may have been cannibalized by iPhone and iPad sales.
Considering the fact that Sony was the first company to allow us the ability to rock out no matter where we were, we owe them a debt of gratitude. Too bad for Sony that most of us will be yelling our thank-yous out over the noise spilling from our Cupertino-designed headphones.