The last VHS recorder may be produced in the next few days. It comes only a few months after Betamax finally bit the dust.
The Nikkei newspaper reports that Funai Electric Company will cease production this month. While the report states that Funai was the only Japanese company making VCRs, it appears it may also have been the only company doing so anywhere.
According to Nikkei sales had declined, though the company still sold 750,000 units last year. It marketed them worldwide under a range of brand names including Sanyo. The decision to call it a day was also because of a difficulty in getting hold of parts.
It doesn’t necessarily mean an immediate end to the format. Although the last Betamax recorders were made in 2002, it was only this March that Sony finally stopped making Betamax tapes. Blank VHS tapes are still available in Japanese stores and it appears new stock is still being manufactured there.