Has the Kobo Aura HD Already Been Discontinued?


aura_limited_ed

When Kobo surprised everyone by unveiling the Kobo Aura HD back in April, we knew from the beginning that it was unlikely to stay around as long as Kobo’s other ereaders because it was labeled as “limited edition”, with no real explanation of what that meant exactly.

Well, just three months after launch, signs are indicating that the Kobo Aura HD could already be at the end of the line. I noticed a few things about the Aura HD today that I think you will find interesting.

For awhile Kobo has been having trouble keeping stock of the colored units, the brown and white ones (espresso and ivory, as they call them), and then they eventually disappeared from Kobo’s website altogether. But they’ve continued to offer the black (onyx) model. Not anymore.

Currently the onyx Kobo Aura HD is listed as “out of stock” at Kobo.com.

On the surface that may not seem like a big deal, maybe they are just in between getting a new shipment or something. But the more concerning detail is the fact that all mention of the Kobo Aura HD has been removed from Kobo’s ereader page on their website. It now only lists Kobo’s other ereaders, and all links for the Kobo Aura HD have been removed.

The funny thing is Kobo is still advertising the Aura HD on their homepage, and it directs to a page where you can’t buy it and gives no options where to buy it. That makes a lot of sense.

I also checked with some of Kobo’s retailers, and most are all sold out of the Kobo Aura HD as well, including the major ones like Best Buy (Canada) and Future Shop. One of the few places that shows any in stock is Indigo.

In the United States there are no retail partners that sell the Kobo Aura HD as far as I know. Maybe a few independent bookstores, but none of the ones I’ve checked have any. They don’t even list it on their websites.

This could just be a simple supply issue, or it could be the end of the Kobo Aura HD. I’m inclined to believe it’s the latter based on its removal from Kobo’s ereader webpage. But then again Kobo’s website is notorious for broken links and weird stuff that doesn’t make sense. Hopefully the Aura HD isn’t a total goner.

Update: I just noticed that the Kobo Aura HD does show up on Kobo’s ereader page when viewed with browsers other than Firefox. For some reason I often have issues with Kobo’s website when using Firefox. Take a look. It’s weird how even the link at the top for the Aura HD is gone with Firefox.

Firefox Screenshot

Firefox Kobo

Chrome Screenshot

Kobo Chrome

25 Responses to “Has the Kobo Aura HD Already Been Discontinued?”

  1. In the UK at least WH Smiths still lists all three colours as in stock so far…

  2. All three colours available on chapters.ca

  3. kobo mini is listed as out of stock also on the kobo website.

    • Perhaps Kobo is going to stop selling via their website again. They aren’t very good at it anyway. There a tons of reports at Mobileread where people had problems ordering from Kobo directly.

      • This is bad reporting.

        • Sorry to offend you, Kobo employee (yes, I searched the IP address for this comment and it came from Kobo themselves—no joke). Since you seem to be referring to this comment and not the article, I will show you evidence that there are numerous reports of people having problems ordering devices from Kobo directly, here, here, and here (I know there are many others but I don’t feel like searching anymore). There are reports of being charged twice for an order, reports of the same order shipping twice, reports of people unable to place orders, reports of orders never being recognized by the system at all. In fact I can speak to that last one from personal experience. Back when the Kobo Vox first came out, I ordered it from Kobo.com and was never charged, it never shipped, nothing happened.

          I realize that this particular article was mostly based on the fact that the Aura HD doesn’t appear when viewed from my Firefox web browser. I don’t know what the issue is, but it is still happening. I don’t have this issue with other websites. It’s like there’s a super-long cookie expiration date or something that isn’t allowing the browser to reset to the new page. I didn’t code Kobo’s website; that’s not my issue. If it’s happening to me, it’s certainly happening to other potential Kobo Aura HD buyers too.

          Overlooking these problems and not discussing them would be bad reporting. Telling the truth isn’t.

          • Disgruntled Kobo Customer August 9, 2013 at 10:45 pm

            You’re right, the Kobo website totally sucks, they offer
            free ebooks that do not exist (they can’t be downloaded and they
            don’t get sent to the ereader), and I tried to buy “Eat Pray Love”
            and it simply won’t open on my Kobo Aura. I’ve redownloaded it like
            a dozen times already.

  4. Hi Nathan,

    All three colours are available in Italy on inmondadori.it =)

  5. Kobo does provide a link for signing up to be notified when Aura will be available again.

  6. It was marketed as a limited edition ereader directed to a more niche group of users. Even if Kobo keeps manufacturing and selling them it probably won’t keep a large stock at any given time.

  7. Should we even be writing a post or responding to one based on a browser error?!!!!!

    What we do know is e-ink offered those HD screens to B&N but they turned them down, so Kobo got the one off production run. No doubt more are in the pipeline, although we have plastic substrate and full page refresh only every 100 pages to look forward to.

  8. It’s a story of two browser, one used to clean its cache everyday, the other was more lazy, and so he used to see things of the past…. 😉

  9. I went to Best Buy here in Canada, they told me they haven’t gotten them in, in stores, yet, but that they are coming.

    As of yet, you can only buy them online from Best Buy, I ended up going to Chapters though.

  10. i have contacted kob regarding this issue. apparently, it is accessible from USA but not from other countries based on ip address. i am from singapore and i use VPN to access and it does turn up, even the purchase page.

  11. orderered one from Fnac-France.
    Weeks gone now, several emails saying they are sorrry, delaied delivery.Now they have given up.
    No reader to be delivered

  12. I was looking a kobo readers at Chapters in Toronto and the sales guy told me that the HD was discontinued.

  13. A year after this article was published, the Aura HD is still there, on their website, Staples, Chapters in Canada. This article was based on guess. So I guess the author’s real purpose was just to show you how to make joke or rumor or fun.

    • No joke. Just further evidence that Kobo’s website does crazy things sometimes that can make one question certain aspects of Kobo’s operation. Kind of like when they discontinued the Kobo Mini. Instead of simply saying that it’s discontinued, they remove the purchase page and direct to a “not available” page instead that looks like an error page and says nothing about the Kobo Mini. Ambiguity at its finest…

  14. Maybe there is stock in other parts of the world, but for some reason it seems like Kobo has worked to make the contiguous U.S. a desert for its products (esp. for the Kobo Aura HD, which could be their flagship ereader) while giving some of its stock to Canada. I recently tried for two months (literally) to get the Kobo site to sell me an Aura HD (it was wonderfully reviewed, looked cool, took a mini SD card, etc.). They sent me an order confirmation but never responded to emails about the order status. Then they–I kid you not–cancelled the order without explanation. I tried Tigerdirect: they said they had it in stock, but didn’t (almost no stock exists in the U.S, apparently). I found some Aura Hds in Canada, but each seller refused to ship to the U.S. (?!). Anyway, I agree: Kobo is acting crazy if they have any hope of competing with Amazon in the eReader market in the U.S. What is their $#%&* plan? Now I don’t trust them. They seem only to have a shell of managerial operations for the Americas.

    • They’ve probably been pulling stock since they are releasing a new model next month, the Kobo Aura H2O. You could still get an HD if you really wanted to; they are readily available on Amazon and eBay right now.

  15. I found some at small independent bookstores, actually, stateside; thanks for the note, too. It looks like they had distributed their remaining stock of HDs there, and they are priced to move at $149 (US dollars). Apparently their launch of the HD was always limited and experimental? It seems odd that Kobo is bringing out what is essentially a waterproof version of the HD at slightly higher price . . . do they actually want to compete in the U.S.? They may be content to cultivate a boutique market here, but parts of their business seem run by robots. (Thanks as well for your notes on formatting epubs using Calibre.)