iPhone 5C – does Apple's first budget smartphone finally have a name?

Leaked packaging hints at iPhone 5C's existence
Apple iPhone 5C

Usually a photo of boxes isn't cause for much excitement – but this particular snap posted on the Chinese website WeiPhone is a bit special.

You see, it depicts a lot of shiny white plastic-looking boxes with an Apple logo on top and - here's the important bit - the letters 'iPhone 5C'. Assuming somebody didn't wake up one day and decide to fabricate a load of boxes to prank the internet, this would suggest that the much-rumoured budget iPhone now has a name.

C is for 'colour'

Apple iPhone 5C

Given that Apple is unable to conquer emerging markets with its current high-priced portfolio – and the alleged release of the iPhone 5S would do little to change that – a budget iPhone seems logical.

There have been a number of leaks in the past that all point towards Apple releasing a device made for smaller budgets. One revealed a number of colourful cases in plastic while another included a YouTube video of the device in action. Could there be this much smoke without fire – or is it merely an elaborate prank by a factory capable of manufacturing phone cases looking for some e-attention?

If the iPhone 5C is real and on the way, what does the C bit stand for? Cheap? Cute? Crass? We're hedging our bets on "colour".

[WeiPhone via TechRadar]