Sony bringing portable, car digital players to U.S.


NEW YORK -- Sony Corp. beat out archrivals Technics and JVC yesterday in announcing plans to bring the first portable digital audiotape player and the first DAT player for automobiles to the United States.

Dubbed the DATMAN in Japan,where it has been test-marketed, Sony's Walkman-style DAT player will retail for about $700 and will be available in early January.

Sony's DAT player for cars will sell for $1,000 and should be on the market right after Christmas, the company said.

DAT equipment uses crystal-cleardigital technology to record and play music and sound on small cassette tapes.

The Technics division of Matsushita/Panasonic and JVC have shown test versions of car and portable DAT devices in Japan but have yet to announce plans to market the units in the United States.

Technics and JVC are among the Japanese electronics manufacturers already selling full-size DAT player-recorders in the United States, priced from $1,000 to $5,000.

Sony also sells a full-size DAT player-recorder that some Manhattan retailers are selling for less than $825.

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