I think you're misunderstanding why this is done this way.
You have multiple devices partly due to having multiple, mutually exclusive carriers.
Apple does the same. Apple makes different versions of the iPhone and iPad to work with all carriers that currently offer and/or support those devices.
In addition, you may have a couple tiers of products, as not everyone is going to go for the Uber-'spensive top end device.
Their approach allows them to hit multiple carriers at multiple price points.
Currently available iPhone models:
iPhone 4s (8GB) (black, white)
iPhone 5c (16GB, 32GB) (white, pink, yellow, blue, green)
iPhone 5s (16GB, 32GB, 64GB) (silver, space gray, gold)
Currently available iPad models:
iPad Mini (16GB) (WiFi, WiFi + Cellular)
iPad Mini w/ Retina (16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB) (WiFi, WiFi + Cellular)
iPad 2 (16GB) (WiFi, WiFi + Cellular)
iPad Air (16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB) (WiFi, WiFi + Cellular)
Total product variations listed above: 41
i-device price ranges:
iPhone: Free-$849 (includes carrier subsidized and unlocked options)
On top of that, having multiple offerings means they have a better chance of finding the devices people want and then slimming down their offering portfolio later, as they refine the devices that people are buying and abandon the ones that don't sell and finding a way to roll any possible unique/desirable features down into other devices.
Apple has already done this - everything they make sells, and sells good. You mean to bash Apple, but really you're just praising them.
Apple gets away with "You will fit your lifestyle to what we offer you. And LIKE IT!". They get away with it because they're Apple and people know that they're expected to put up with Apple's crazy bullshit for "teh schmexy".
One word: TouchWiz
For people who refuse to be cookie cutter'ed (see "sane people"), there's a plethora of choices and you can pick the one that intersects someplace acceptable along your "needs" and "budget limits" lines.
By your logic, the only "sane people" then are those that create their own phones. You're an idiot if you think Samsung's, or any other electronics maker's products, are any less cookie-cutter influenced than Apple's products.