Forbes did a piece today on TryPhone – an online information site and simulator of sorts for cell phones. It's still in beta. I tried the Blackberry Pearl – had a hard time using the Pearl, but you could get a sense of the screen layout, available features, etc. To be fair, it's still in beta. The site also featured product specs, information, etc. and looked ready to line up consumer rates (star system).
Phones fall into the category of a product that consumers will likely research both online and offline. This application will complement existing online offerings – even the large pictures of the phones will be a step above what most sites offer even without the demos. If they could offer competing prices on handsets alone plus carrier offers, this could become a destination site for all buyers. According to our research, this doesn't solve all consumer issues with online research, but it's at least one step in the right direction.