Red dead? Hydrogen Two canceled as company founder announces retirement

Red Hydrogen One
(Image credit: Red)

Only months after Red's Hydrogen Two smartphone was confirmed despite Hydrogen One's failure, the follow-up Android handset has been declared dead in the water, with Red founder Jim Jannard announcing his retirement and the end of the Hydrogen project, as spotted by Ars Technica.

Having just turned 70, Jannard took to the company's forums to make the announcement after 45 years working on Oakley and Red, citing health issues and age as the reasons for his well-earned retirement. 

"I will be shutting down the HYDROGEN project, ending a career that has included Oakley, RED Digital Cinema and HYDROGEN," said the company founder, further declaring that he's "very proud to have worked with many great people over the years who have signed on to the vision".

Red future

While Jannard promises "HYDROGEN One will continue to be supported in the future," we wouldn't hold out too much hope for that, with Ars Technica noting the phone's last update as being released back in January 2019.

Thankfully, Red will remain in its highly successful 'Digital Cinema' camera business; Jannard hinting at the upcoming launch of the company's highly anticipated Komodo 6K compact camera that utilizes Canon's new RF lens mount, with "Jarred [Land], Tommy [Rios] and [son] Jamin [Jannard] at the controls".

Jannard placed much of the Hydrogen One's failure on an unnamed Chinese ODM (Original Design Manufacturer). Its follow-up, the now-defunct Hydrogen Two, was said to be designed in-house, with plans to manufacture "at a new ODM that is clearly more capable of building and supporting the product we (and our customers) demand".

Stephen Lambrechts
Senior Journalist, Phones and Entertainment

Stephen primarily covers phones and entertainment for TechRadar's Australian team, and has written professionally across the categories of tech, film, television and gaming in both print and online for over a decade. He's obsessed with smartphones, televisions, consoles and gaming PCs, and has a deep-seated desire to consume all forms of media at the highest quality possible. 

He's also likely to talk a person’s ear off at the mere mention of Android, cats, retro sneaker releases, travelling and physical media, such as vinyl and boutique Blu-ray releases. Right now, he's most excited about QD-OLED technology, The Batman and Hellblade 2: Senua's Saga.