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'Budget' iPhone casing supposedly snapped in plasticky pic

An image that purportedly portrays a part of the new iPhone has surfaced online.

An image that purports to show the rear casing of the long-rumoured cheap or 'budget' iPhone has surfaced online.

Don your rumour goggles, loyal CNETeers, and keep an eye out for flying speculation, because the picture -- which you can see above -- hints at a slender blower with a plastic rump.

While intriguing, there's absolutely no way of knowing whether or not this casing, which was first posted on tech site Tactus, is the real deal. It could be a clever fake, an existing iPhone case with some logo stickers applied, or -- as one commenter suggested -- a MacBook casing with holes drilled into it.

Earlier rumours have claimed that Apple would choose plastic for a dirt-cheap iPhone, but you'd still be wise to take this leaked snap with a pinch of salt for now.

The site where the picture appeared claims the factory producing the cheap iPhone is also plotting several colour options, including black, white, blue, red and yellow.

Apple isn't exactly famed for making its gadgets cheap and colourful, though its range of iPods have long been available in a veritable riot of hues.

If Apple did bake a budget version of its popular smart phone, it could prove popular with shoppers who can't currently afford the company's pricey blowers.

That's no confirmation that Tim Cook and pals are actually building a low-cost iPhone though. Apple already offers the 8GB iPhone 4 for £319 SIM-free, so it could choose to keep this iteration as its cheaper option.

Would you like to see Apple make a cheap iPhone, or should the maker of shiny gadgets focus on new tech to follow the iPhone 5? What do you think of the image above -- is it the real deal? Or a dodgy fake? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook wall.