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Will Apple's rumoured budget iPhone actually be called the iPhone 5C and launch on 6 September?

The iPhone 5S vs iPhone 6 vs iPhone mini naming debate has been reignited, after an image surfaced apparently revealing that Apple's rumoured low-cost handset will be dubbed the iPhone 5C.

Spotted by the eagle-eyed fanboys at French geek blog NWE (opens in new tab), the curveball of a photo originates from China's WeiPhone forums (opens in new tab)and shows a bunch of iPhone boxes bearing the 5C moniker.

The mobile world has been abuzz for a while now with speculation that Apple is set to produce a budget iPhone (opens in new tab) to complement its more premium smartphone offering - 20 September has been mooted as one potential launch date by some pundits.

Others think that Apple's next major product unveiling will be a little bit earlier, with German Apple fan site iFun (opens in new tab)recently citing a "credible and serious source" as revealing 6 September as the day in question.

Rumours point to the new budget iPhone featuring a plastic build and modest specifications, as well as coming available in a range of colourful designs.

The release of a more affordable iPhone is thought to be part of Apple's strategy to strengthen its position in emerging markets amidst increased competition from smaller firms.

Recent reports show that both Apple and Samsung are losing smartphone market share (opens in new tab) to upstarts like ZTE and Huawei.

As far as the alleged image leak itself, there isn't really much that can be said other than the naming convention isn't that outrageous - 'C' presumably standing for iPhone 'colour' as opposed to 'cheap.'

We expect to know more in the coming weeks and months; in the meantime, catch up on more of the latest gossip by heading to our recent Apple iPhone and iPad rumour roundup. (opens in new tab)

James is a freelance editor, journalist, and writer with 10+ years experience in digital media, SEO and news writing. He has produced content on a number of Future sites, including TechRadar, ITProPortal, Tom's Guide, and T3, and was Senior Staff Writer at ITProPortal.