Sony, who own 70% of the 3.5 inch floppy disk market, have announced that would end Japanese sales of the storage medium in March 2011. In 2002 Sony sold 47 million floppy drives in Japan and in 2009 that number dropped to just 12 million. The 3.5-inch floppy was a ubiquitous and necessary component for storing and transferring files between personal computers for nearly three decades. Sony pioneered the 3.5-inch floppy disk in 1981, eventually replacing the 5.25-inch floppy disk that had previously been the popular storage format. Apple was the first to drop floppy drive in their iMac line, Dell followed the trend in 2003 and introduced a Dimension desktop without the drive. Other manufacturers slowly started following this trend and the floppy has come to be something of the past.