RED Ends the Hydrogen Smartphone as CEO Jannard Departs for Retirement


Not all experiments end well and some might call it quits too soon.

Hydrogen ONE from Red.

That’s what a lot of the fans of RED’s Hydrogen smartphones are saying after the company announced it was retiring the model line and doubling down on its other optical equipment efforts. Coupled with word that CEO Jim Jannard is retiring and there is a ton of change afoot over at one of the industry’s most esteemed companies.

If you’ll recall, we (and others) really hyped up the Hydrogen smartphones before they came out. But that’s not to say we weren’t heavily prepped to do so: Promising everything from a holographic display to the craftsmanship of RED’s cameras in a smartphone, the company promised a lot and sort of met expectations…depending on who you ask.

Jannard, for his part, pointed some fingers at the original manufacturers behind the components used in the smartphone’s camera and this was cited as one of the primary reasons the company was taking development of that aspect inhouse, The Verge reports.

Firstly, the Hydrogen didn’t exactly use RED’s camera technology. Second, the promised attachment modules that were going to help take the Hydrogen’s smartphone camera abilities to the next level never came out. What did happen was a doubling down by the company on the concept and a promise to make things right in the future with a new model which is now cancelled. Though the Hydrogen will work with the company’s upcoming Komodo 6K in some fashion, it looks like it is the end of the line for RED’s smartphone experiment.

Taking over for Jannard (who founded the company in 1999) will be RED’s president Jarred Land, executive VP Tommy Rios, and president of marketing and creative for the company, Jamin Jannard.

Did you own a Hydrogen smartphone? What did you think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Also, check out some of our other photography news articles by clicking here.

[The Verge]

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Kehl is our staff photography news writer since 2017 and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here and follow him on Insta.

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