Jannard explained the delay for two reasons: one, that RED was taking more time to improve the camera module by adding dual cameras to both the front and back of the phone to enable taking RED’s “4V” content directly on the device, and two, to take more time to work with carriers on getting the phone certified.
In a later update, Jannard went on to try and assuage concerns about the delay by assuring anxious preorder customers that “We have no idea whatsoever what we are doing,” and that some of the bumps in the road are just natural parts of learning how to work with the complexities of the cellular industry. He also noted that RED experienced similar growing pains when it first started in the camera industry, something that (despite the occasional problem with missed launches) has resulted in the company becoming one of the top names in the world of high-end video equipment.
Jannard goes on to emphasize that even when the phone does launch, “the product won’t be complete.” Instead, he promises that there will be “more firmware/software updates than any other phone ever made” as the company continues to learn more about smartphones. Whether or not RED will manage to change the game with cellphones like it did with 8K cameras has yet to be seen, but Jannard seems to be hoping that customers will want to get in on the ground floor in the event that it can pull it off.
The RED Hydrogen One was first announced back in July 2017 with a $1,200 preorder, promising an early 2018 ship date, which was later moved to sometime this summer in January. RED is making some fairly outlandish promises with the Hydrogen One, mostly around the 5.7-inch “holographic display” that claims to revolutionize how we view content — although few outside the company have seen it in action yet.