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Packaging for a rumored budget iPhone 5C shows up online

It's uncertain whether the image is the real thing, but many Apple watchers expect the company to reveal a "budget" iPhone in the fall.

This alleged packaging of a new iPhone model was posted on a the WeiPhone forum in China on July 27.
Weiphone forum

As Apple's fall product reveal approaches, alleged images of the new iPhone parts are appearing with greater frequency. The latest is plastic packaging for an iPhone 5C, which appeared on the Chinese WeiPhone discussion forum. The 5C could be the rumored lower-cost, plastic-encased iPhone that could show up along with an updated iPhone 5, expected to be call the 5S.

Read: The Apple guessing game

It's uncertain whether the image is the real thing. It doesn't fit into Apple's current visual treatment for an iPhone with two characters, such as the 4S, but given the makeover Apple is giving iOS, it's not beyond reason that the designers would tinker with iPhone logos. The packaging could be similar to the plastic case that of the iPod touch than the iPhone 5. What the "C" stands for is unclear.

Apple's current naming and graphical treatment for the iPhone models. Apple

The iPhone 5, which is almost a year old, was the most popular iPhone sold in Apple's quarter ending June 30, but the iPhone 4 (first available June 24, 2010) and 4S (first available October 14, 2011) models sold well in emerging markets, indicating demand for a more updated budget iPhone to go along with the new, rumored iPhone 5S in the fall lineup.

Sales of the iPhone were up 400 percent in India, up 60 percent in Turkey, up 140 percent in the Philippines. China, however, was weaker in the quarter, with sell-through down 4 percent from the year-ago quarter, but Apple has earned $27 billion in revenue on a trailing basis in last 12 months. "I continue to believe that in the arc of time China is a huge opportunity for Apple, and I don't get discouraged over a 90-day kind of cycle that can have economic factors and other things in it," Apple CEO Tim Cook said.