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 Borders.com, 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.