I'm seeing a lot of threads popping up about why the 5C exists. We were led to believe by rumors and speculation/analysts that the 5C was being made specifically to target emerging markets and to appeal to consumers as a low priced entry into the iPhone world that wasn't simply a previous generation model. With the 5 in place it seemed to make the most sense that we'd see the 5S/5/5C in that order with respect to pricing and features. The 5C would range between $300-$450 off-contract. Personally I thought Apple would offer a 5C off-contract for $350 (8 GB model) and a 16 GB variant for $450. I believe Apple decided earlier this year to discontinue the black/slate model due to issues with the anodized coating performing very poorly especially around the chamfered edges. This was true of the iPhone 5 I owned and it's a general understanding that the white iPhone 5 holds up much better than the black model due to the anodizing coating that was needed for the black model. Fast forward to today's keynote. The black model has been eliminated from the 5S lineup, replaced by a gray model which will of course hold up much better to scuffs on its edges. The iPhone 5 is removed from the lineup entirely. A move that is very usual with respect to how Apple has handled previous generation iPhone's. The 5C is essentially the iPhone 5 but in a plastic colored shell. The 5C exists because Apple decided to get the 5 out of the lineup. That's the only reason. Yes the plastic casing may cost a bit less to produce but the remainder of the components are essentially identical to the 5 so the total cost of the device cannot be significantly cheaper to produce and hence justify removing the 5 entirely at this point.