updated 09:20 am EDT, Mon September 8, 2008
Sony Designed for Walkman
Sony on Monday reversed another one of its longstanding blocks against third-party support with news of a Designed for Walkman program. Similar to Made for iPod, the program finally allows third parties to develop and sell accessories for Walkman players based on Sony's proprietary WM-PORT connector; similar to the program for Apple's Dock Connector, it allows speaker docks and other add-ons that put out audio and video as well as charge the player.
The approach backtracks from Sony's insistence on only producing its own accessories, which is often cited as one of the factors behind its players' struggle for marketshare versus the heavily accessorized iPod; Microsoft and SanDisk have also allowed third-party accessories for their devices.
Some of the first extras for Walkman players include a set of four Logitec accessories in the company's native Japan, including an Active Speaker System dock, FM transmitters made for both in-car charging and universal purposes, and a sound recorder to capture audio from lectures.
Pricing and launch information for these accessories haven't been announced; Sony also has yet to mention any peripherals available in the US.