I think I understand the approach they're taking. What I don't understand is why it works. What we might call the Sunglasses Gambit works on $200 sunglasses and in 2006 it worked on a $16,000 4K camera. That surprised me. What absolutely astonishes me is that it still works on a £53k camera.
I guess it worked because it filled a niche - they were pushing the small bodies when 3D was a thing and it filled the 4K gap for Netflix etc... The cameras had advantages over the competition so people put up with the design "aesthetic". I don't think most users particular responded to the marketing - just that the Red One/Epic filled a niche in the market not served by other manufacturers.
Things have moved on with Venice and Varicam 4k, Alexa Mini and LF. I agree the continued "rebel" thing is strange at the prices they are now charging. If anyone is shaking up the market its Blackmagic not Red.
I wonder if it still is "working" on a $53k camera (or $79k for VV), beyond the fanboys are people still investing in then? Even at the Raven end, they are as rare as hen's teeth over here compared to FS7's, C300's and Ursa Minis. When you look at the specs on Netflix shows increasingly the big budget stuff is Alexa 65 and Varicam. I would imagine a lot of Netflix is going to move over the Alexa LF now, removing the main reason to own a Red. If you had $100k to spend on a camera system - buying an Arri would make more business sense. They tend to rent for more, more often and seem to have much better resale value. Back in the day you could buy 2 Reds for the price of one Arri - that's no longer the case.
Maybe thats why they are making the phone. Which is perhaps a shrewd idea - they don't seem able to compete with Blackmagic, Sony et al on price. Arri has the high end sewn up and the middle ground is getting crowded. At that point pivoting onto consumer tech products, with its potentially vast market, make's sense. Still they are going to have their work cut out for them, competing against Samsung and Apple. This new Kill-O-Zap phone will need to be pretty special and re-enforce my fragile masculinity with some cool spikes, before I do away my trusty Galaxy S8