Although it's early in the product's life, it appears Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 5c has already been labeled a dud after only four weeks of actually being on the market. The judgement seems fair -- at first glance.

Last week a flurry of seemingly credible rumors surfaced alleging that Apple had already started reducing its production plans for the lower-end iPhone 5c, due to tepid demand from consumers.

Sadly, these rumors only helped to bolster the criticisms around Apple's latest smartphone experiment. Weaker-than-expected sales are rarely a positive for any product. However, it also stands to reason that four weeks could simply be too small a sample size to truly understand Apple's iPhone 5c.

In fact, a mounting body of evidence is showing the iPhone 5c has been persistently closing its sales gap with the higher-end 5s over the last several weeks. And even beyond that, the real opportunity for Apple's iPhone 5c should lie in emerging markets. In the video below, Fool contributor Andrew Tonner defends Apple's iPhone 5c.