Apple is reportedly preparing to launch its cheapest iPhone in years, in an attempt to regain some of the ground it has lost to Huawei and other rivals.

The new model - an updated version of the iPhone SE - will be released next spring, sources told the Nikkei Asian Review .

It will be roughly the same size as the 4.7-inch iPhone 8 that was introduced in 2017, and will feature most of the same components as the iPhone 11, due to be launched next week.

However, while the top-end iPhone 11 models will have OLED screens, the iPhone SE successor will have an LCD display, allowing Apple to offer it at a lower price.

The original iPhone SE, which launched in 2016, had a starting price of £359.

Final pricing for the new model is not yet settled, Nikkei reports, but analysts have speculated it is likely to be somewhere around the £450-500 mark.

It will probably be targeted primarily at emerging markets including China, where consumers are more price sensitive and Apple has lost ground to rivals such as Samsung, Huawei and Oppo.

The news comes after Apple reported its first-ever decline in iPhone shipments last year, and Huawei overtook Apple to become the world's second biggest smartphone maker after Samsung.

The US company also has suffered two straight quarters of shipment and market share drops this year, according to IDC data.

The company is expected to unveil its iPhone 11 family at an event in Cupertino next week, on September 10.

The new handsets are expected to feature triple-lens cameras and support two-way wireless charging, meaning they will be able to beam power to other gadgets such as AirPods.