The Kobo Aura One e-Reader just came out a few months ago and many online reviews have been very positive. There seems to be a strong demand for the 7.8 inch screen and Kobo has been completely sold out for the past three weeks. Users are finding it utterly impossible to place new orders on the main Kobo website in America and Canada.
Chapters/Indigo is the largest bookseller in Canada and they have a huge inventory of Aura One e-Readers. Since the initial release there has been plenty of units sitting on store shelves and available for online orders. This has resulted in Chapters being the only company actively selling the Kobo Aura One to a ravenous North American audience.
There has been a few occasions when the Aura One has become available on the main Kobo website, but it has literally sold out in an hour.
I think that Kobo is allocating what units they have left for the retail sector. They need to keep Indigo/Chapters happy for a few reasons. Indigo was an early investor in Kobo and helped them get their start in the Canadian market. Also, I think if Kobo cannot keep Indigo happy and full of stock for the holiday season, what is stopping them from signing a deal with Amazon?
I have reached out to Kobo for an official comment and will update this post if I hear back from them.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.