Sony ends 3.5-inch floppy production

Sony has announced that it's going to stop manufacturing and selling 3.5-inch floppy disks in Japan, following the company's shutting down of production in the rest of the world.

The storage device has been out of favour for some time due to its tiny capacity and the proliferation of USB drives and cloud storage, but at its peak in the year 2000, Sony was selling 47 million disks a year in Japan alone. Intriguingly, in 2009 the company still sold 8.5 million - but Japan accounted for about 40% of the world's market share.

Sony will stop selling 3.5-inch floppy disks in March 2011 in Japan, with worldwide sales having finished in March 2010. A few markets will still sell them - India is one, due to the amount of older equipment still in operation there - but Sony won't be selling them anywhere else.

So shed a tear for the humble floppy disk, whose day has finally come.