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Now, Swarovski lays claim to the Walkman

Once-venerable music icon gets some cheap accessorizing.

Digital World Tokyo

Say it ain't so, Sony. The standard bearer for decades in defining good taste in consumer electronics has gone Swarovski on us.

It's hardly the first design leader to fall under the garish crystalline spell. First Philips, then the iPhone and now Sony's E-Series MP3 players have fallen victim to the trend with its "Walkman Abiste" model. As if that weren't bad enough, Digital World Tokyo says the Swarovski-studded stick players will be available in blue, gold, pink and violet, as well as black, when they're released in September on the Japanese market.

Other than the rocks, the Abiste is basically like any other E Series Walkman, with capacities ranging from 1GB to 4GB at $128 to $200. Sony at least resisted whatever temptation it may have had to cover the entire player in crystals--unlike other gadget makers that have sold their rhinstone-clad souls.