iPhone SE: Apple launches new 4-inch, cheapest ever iPhone with many of the features of the 6s

The new phone – the company's cheapest ever – is intended for the many people who are still using Apple's smaller phones, the company said

Apple has released its new iPhone, the first time it has made a new handset with a smaller screen.

The 4-inch phone has many of the features of the newest iPhone 6s, but packs them into a body that looks almost identical to the years old iPhone 5. It has the same size as that older phone, and Apple said it was aimed at the millions of people who still buy those older, smaller handsets.

The new phone will begin at $399 in the US, making it the cheapest phone that Apple has ever made.

Pre-orders for the new phone will start on March 24. The device will go on sale in the UK on March 31.

The phone brings many of the iPhone 6s's headline features. That includes a camera with the capability to record 4K videos, faster processors and connectivity hardware, and improved battery.

It also includes new chips that allow the phone to work with Apple Pay, meaning that all of Apple's current iPhone line can now be used to pay with.

It will also come in the same metal finishes that are found in the iPhone 6s. That includes the Rose Gold colour that was first unveiled with that new phone, making the SE the second handset with that design.

Otherwise, the phone appeared almost identical to the iPhone 5 and 5s. It featured the same square sides and smaller design.

Apple announced the new phone on stage at an event that also saw the release of new iPads, Apple Watch accessories and more.