Is Apple's budget smartphone the iPhone 5c?

Is Apple renaming its rumored budget iPhone the 5C?

A tech site on Monday cited photos on a Chinese phone forum last July 27, indicating plastic packaging for a supposed "iPhone 5C."

"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," CNET reported.

CNET noted that while it is not clear what the "C" in "5C" stands for, the packaging could be similar to the plastic case of the iPod touch.

But it said it is still not clear if the image is authentic, noting it "doesn't fit into Apple's current visual treatment for an iPhone with two characters, such as the 4S."

Still, it said it is "not beyond reason" that the designers would tinker with iPhone logos.

CNET noted the iPhone's sales had gone up 140 percent in the Philippines. — TJD, GMA News