RED’s Hydrogen One handset is one of those devices we’ll believe when we actually see it. The company’s been promising up the $1,200 smartphone for a while now, only to be hit with delays and outright admitting, “We have no idea whatsoever what we are doing.”
Consider this some small vote of confidence, however. AT&T announced today that it will be carrying the 5.7-inch “holographic display device.” That, of course, shouldn’t be taken as a tacit approval of the device, so much as a confirmation of the fact that it does, in fact, exist.
Though in a press release tied to the announcement, a market SVP says, “This revolutionary smartphone will provide you with significant advancements in the way you create and view content on the leading network for entertainment.” So, take that as you will. Personally, I’m holding off any sort of judgement until I can hold the thing in my hands.
The carrier mentions “later this summer” in the press release, which lines up with RED’s most recent mention of an August launch date. As for price, your guess is as good as ours. We reached out to AT&T to see whether the company will be subsidizing the product on contract, or simply offering up the $1,200 phone as is through its retail channel. The carrier won’t comment on that, yet, though its Next subsidy plan might make sense, cushioning the cost by stretching it out over a longer period.
The Hydrogen One is, by all accounts, about as far as you can get from a mainstream piece of mobile hardware. At the moment, it feels more like a fun consumer electronics thought experiment, but at least it’s one that’s real — and coming to the second largest mobile carrier in the U.S. at some point this summer.
Update: Looks like Verizon will be getting the phone, as well. The carrier (which, disclosure, owns the company that owns TechCrunch) will be getting the phone in the even broader timeframe of “later this year.” No word on pricing there, either.