It would make perfect sense to drop a device that has been "upgraded" to another level. Such is the case with the storm 1. Why would Big Red keep that on the shelf if there was a "better" model to have customers trade up to? This way, if your device breaks before the contract is up, you'll have to sign up for another two years, it makes perfect business sense, even if it makes no sense to real people.
As for the pearl flip, wow! I'm surprised it made it this long.... (MHO, of course...)
Have you ever wondered why things intended to make our lives simpler keep getting more complicated to use?