Intel are practically giving away their mobile chips at almost zero price, as nobody else wants them, so that might explain why they're being used, and probably allowed Endless to blow the money saved on the expensive case design and packaging (or to just max out any margin). Still, the thing needs a 29W power supply to run, which doesn't really seem ideal considering the more power efficient alternatives (possibly the Pi2 came out way too late to be considered?)
I've no idea who exactly the target market is for this project, but according to the replies on Kickstarter they're incredibly materialistic as "must look nice" and "have pretty packaging" were key requirements...
Providing computing for the "next billion" is a noble goal but the way they're going about it just makes me want to weep - they seem either rather naiive, or have an ulterior motive (I wouldn't be surprised to find Intel are backing them, and the Kickstarter campaign is just cheap publicity).
The BBC has a video interview
with the Endless founder, but I don't think the guy interviewing really "gets it" either.
Something's just not right about this whole endeavour. Maybe just too many hipsters involved.