Floppies head to the disc drive in the sky

Having first debuted on the market way back in 1969, it seems that the end has finally arrived for the floppy disc.

Sony has announced that it is to discontinue sales of the 3.5” variant of the floppy, which first arrived in 1981. The news follows a string of withdrawals from the sector in recent years that left Sony as the only large-scale manufacturer of the technology.

Outsourced manufacture of the media stopped last year

Examiner.com reports that sales of the format surprisingly reached their peak as late as 2000, when Sony shipped around 47m of the discs worldwide. However, in 2009 Sony shipped just 8.5m floppies, accounting for around 70 of the total global market.

Sales of 3.5” floppies will officially end in March next year, though small-scale operations will still ship orders to niche markets such as India.

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