I hate going to any wireless store and pickup one of the dummy phones they have on display. They might serve one purpose: size. But when it comes to functionality it fails dramatically. Consumers want to test a device before they buy it. One of the representatives told me one day that there wasn’t a BlackBerry Torch demo phone available (on freakin’ launch day) because most people already know what the device offers when it comes to features and functionality. I highly doubt it. And even if that was true, that’s a fraction of the customers who walk into the store.
Personally, I would never buy a phone based on playing with a dummy phone or just reading about it on the internet. I prefer to actually hold the real thing in my hands and use it for at least 5 minutes to get a real feeling for it. Phone manufacturers, in my opinion, are loosing profit for not sending working demo units for their feature phones on all wireless carriers.
Wireless carriers just want consumers to sign a contract as soon as possible to get a hard choking grip on them, then they have 30 minutes / 15 days to try out the phone they selected. The customer can’t cancel their contract if they chose to return the phone, they will be faced with at least $250+ penalty. That’s the work of the mafia.
If I am buying a certain smartphone and signing a 2+ years contract for a data plan, I want to try it at the store BEFORE I sign any documents.