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Tuesday, February 24, 2004
Sony cancels introduction of MP3 players

Japanese electronics and entertainment company Sony Corp. has canceled the planned sale this spring in Japan of two portable MP3 digital music players because of problems with the built-in FM radio tuners, the company said Monday.

The AZ-FS256 and AZ-FS1 players were announced last month with great fanfare as part of the company's effort to overhaul its Aiwa brand name. The FM tuners did not function properly with the other digital music functions, Sony said.

``It is extremely regrettable that this product could not go on sale, and we are very sorry this happened about a product we had announced,'' Sony spokesman Daichi Yamafuji said.

The models were set to go on sale in Japan in April. No dates had been announced for overseas sales.

Eleven other new Aiwa digital music players, announced with the two canceled models, are already available for purchase, or will go on sale as planned, the company said.

Earlier this year, Sony recalled plasma display televisions for repairs. Last year, it recalled tiny digital cameras that were part of its luxury Qualia product line.

Sony has been struggling to regain its image as a high-quality electronics innovator since profits began to falter last year.

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