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Apple reportedly working on cheaper iPhone

New model could launch later this year to combat dip in market share

Apple is reportedly considering releasing a cheaper iPhone.

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Citing "people briefed on the matter", the Wall Street Journal claims that a lower-end iPhone could launch later this year as Apple bids to regain lost market share in the smartphone sector.

The firm has apparently explored such a device for years, and while it may yet axe the plan, work towards a product launch is said to be progressing.

While it's thought that a cheaper version of the popular phone would be similar in appearance to existing models, it may switch the current aluminium body for less expensive polycarbonate plastic housing.

Research firm IDC suggests iPhones accounted for 14.6 per cent of worldwide smartphone shipments in the third quarter of 2012, down from a peak of 23 per cent in the first quarter of last year.

Reports earlier this month claimed Apple is currently testing the next major iterations of its smartphone and iOS operating system, the iPhone 6 and iOS 7 respectively.

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