If this is the case, logically these two phones should sit at the higher end of the lineup at the $99 and $199 price-points. So what’s the free phone this year? I reckon it is the 5c. The lineup can then be clearly differentiated by screen size: the jumps between 4, 4.7 and 5.5 inches are well defined. The cheap one is plastic and the higher two are made of ‘premium’ metals.
What I am undecided on is whether the new phones will differ with their internal components. Will Apple distinguish the models by giving them different processors? Or is it more like the iPad, where the only deciding factor between the iPad Air and Mini is the size of the screen.