I can’t think of any other category where one can’t try out the product before buying it. You can do that with cars, clothes, perfumes…except undergarments (understandably) of course. But with mobile handsets in India, all you can do to ‘experience’ the product before buying it is hold a dummy handset in your hands. Visit any retailer (is Croma an excpetion?) hunting for a mobile phone, and you will see rows upon rows of dummy handsets safely tethered to the shelf with an ornamental belt. Want to see how good the camera is? Nope. Want to see how it loads internet pages? Nope. One is expected to either remember the salient features of the handset or simply believe the salesman. One can compare handsets on the net too – but all of this is no match to actually experience the product. The Apple resellers, thankfully let consumers play around with the iPhone to showcase the UI, App Store and the internet experience.
Surprisingly, consumers don’t seem to complain, even with feature-rich, high end PDA’s the opportunity to experience the product before buying is limited. Wonder why there’s been no hue & cry? Or am I misinformed?