I recently purchased an Aiwa AM-NX9 from Ebay. It’s a Net MiniDisc from the brief period that Aiwa was branch of Sony before being shut down.
Sony had hoped that AIWA could become their new youth orientated brand to combat Apple and its own fading brand name. Sony at this time was serious limited by its music and movie departments demands. They couldn’t easily get MP3 support for MiniDisc let alone launch their own. Aiwa seemed to be a nice backdoor around this. So by launching some re-branded Sony kit with some funky designs they could get the ball rolling. Unfortunately AIWA was much more of an budget and older person’s brand far from the young and luxurious Apple brand they were hoping to compete with. For example my parents own a lovely dark green AIWA Mini HiFi the same colour as the oldies’ favourite the Nissan Micra.
It is a shame as I think the styling on the AIWA youth MDs were very nice. I purchased the mass market AM-NX9, although in nice Black and Red combo instead of the more common Silver and Green. Rarer models are even more impressive looking like the AM-NX1. The NX9 is a very feature starved unit, next to the MZ-N710 it looks particularly weak and no amount of styling can hide this. It is a shame that Sony didn’t keep up a AIWA or another youth brand as some of their later designs look incredibly bland and stodgy being neither the Minimalistic Apple or Maximalistic AIWA.