The original Kobo e-reader has been discontinued

I heard a rumor this week that the original (Wifi-less) Kobo ereader was no longer available. I’ve been poking at this for a couple days now and I still can’t with absolute certainty that it’s been retired. Infact, just yesterday Jason Gamblen of Kobo denied the rumor.

But I’m pretty sure it’s true.

The original Kobo is no longer listed on, or on the websites for Chapters, Borders AU, or Angus  Robertson. I’ve also confirmed that it cannot be ordered at my local Borders bookstore. They’ve even pulled the display unit.

But the best single piece of evidence I have is this: Kobo no longer sell the original ereader on their website.

Considering that the hardware is still being produced under other brands, I have to say that that was a short run. The original Kobo didn’t even last a full year.

This was a smart move. The original Kobo had about the same production cost as the Kobo Wifi and it had to be sold for less. If you’re wondering why they cost the same even though one had Wifi, don’t forget that the original had Bluetooth module where the Kobo Wifi had a Wifi module.  The parts cost for the 2 modules is about the same.

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Nate Hoffelder

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Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Mike Cane15 January, 2011

    I don’t know why they’d deny this unless they think PR-wise it would make the original buyers feel uncomfortable or fear Kobo’s longevity. They have to cycle through models every year. Apple has set that precedent now and everyone expects at least that.

  2. Zigwalski16 January, 2011

    There could be surplus inventory in some parts of the country or the world. If you know something is obsolete, then people might stay away from it. Of course, they should just reduce the price and get rid of them.

    Also, I wonder how much the blue tooth cost when Kobo 1 first came out. THere is no way it was the same price at that time for wifi. If it was, then the person that decided that should be fired. The blue tooth only worked with a blackberry if memory serves me correctly.


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