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Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Chip Malfunction Delays Sony Walkman Launch in Japan

Sony said on Tuesday it would postpone the launch of a new Walkman music player by a week in Japan due to malfunction of microchips used in the machine -- the latest delay in a product offering from the world's second-largest consumer electronics maker.

Sony has procured the malfunctioning chips from outside and the Tokyo-based company does not expect a major financial impact from the delay.

The move comes after a Sony announcement last week that it would delay the European launch of its PlayStation 3 game console by four months to March since commercial production of blue laser diodes, a key component for PS3's Blu-ray optical disc drive, has fallen behind the original schedule.

Sony makes the blue laser diode in-house.

Sony did not specify the chip suppliers, the nature of the malfunction, and the number of units affected.

Sony originally intended to offer its S-series flash memory-based Walkman on September 15 in Japan, but the replacement of the faulty chips has forced the company to postpone the launch to September 23.

It is not clear at the moment whether the S-series Walkman, manufactured in Malaysia, has already been sold to end-users in some overseas markets, the spokeswoman said.

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