Everyone was expecting a 5c starting price of $450 to $500, which was based on a rumour back in August. Perhaps the 5c is really meant for China after all. By having a higher cost in the US, Apple keeps profit margins high for the consumers willing to pay for it here. In contrast, Chinese consumers are less likely to pay such a premium price, so Apple would sell it at a lower cost to increase the number of Chinese consumers (after all, reports stated that Cook and China Mobile came to some sort of agreement over the iPhone). If you look on the Chinese Apple site, there are no prices listed. And remember, there is a separate Apple event tomorrow in China, perhaps to mention the price for Chinese consumers. The only kink in this theory is if someone imported a Chinese iPhone 5c, but maybe doing so is more expensive than it's worth.