Remember last fall when I reported that Kobo bungled the US launch of their new ereaders, and then followed up 6 weeks later with the shocking report that they had foolishly stopped selling their ereaders on their website?
A number of readers showed up and disagreed with my description of Kobo’s actions, but it looks like I was right all along
Kobo has just announced that they are once again selling their own hardware on their own website. They have ended a 5 month dry spell during which they lost customers to Amazon.
The press release just went out this morning, and it includes the detail that Kobo will only be shipping to the US and Canada. The hardware is available now, and so are accessories like cases, lights, and so on.
I don’t know about you but I am glad to see Kobo finally come to their senses. They had made it very difficult to buy one of their ereaders or Android tablet here in the US. In fact, it’s still difficult to buy a Kobo ereader; they’re not being carried by any major US retailer. Amusingly enough, several of the retailers listed in the press release as current partners don’t actually have Kobo’s hardware in stock. I checked, and Best Buy still says the devices (aside from the Kobo Mini) are coming soon while Walmart, Target, Staples, and other major US retailers don’t list the Kobo hardware at all.
Besides the Kobo website, you can find Kobo hardware at some ABA member indie bookstores including Powell’s and Family Christian Bookstores (a chain of stores, actually).
Kobo isn’t even being carried by sister companies like Buy.com (aka Rakuten Shopping). While that site does have a page for Kobo products none of the new devices are listed, just the Kobo Vox and the Kobo Touch. This lack of support from Rakuten has been obvious since at least January, but I am still surprised every time I see it.