Apple reportedly testing larger iPhone, iPad screens

Apple's iPhone 5 in black.

The Apple "phablet" may not be a rumor after all. The tech giant is testing larger screens for iPhones and iPads, the Wall Street Journal reports.

According to the Journal, Apple has asked its Asian suppliers for a prototype of smartphone screens larger than 4 inches and tablet screens just under 13 inches. The Journal cites officials at the company's suppliers.

The current iPhone's 4-inch screen was the first increase in size for the smartphone maker since launching the original iPhone with a 3.5-inch screen. Apple's iPad has a 9.7-inch screen.

Previous reports have circulated that Apple may increase its screen size to compete with the Samsung Galaxy's 5-inch screen. However, it is unclear if there is any weight to the rumors. The Journal points out that the tech giant routinely tests a variety of designs during the development phase.

Reuters reported in June that Apple was looking to introduces at least two phones next year -- one with a 4.7-inch screen and another with a 5.7-inch screen. Citing people with knowledge of the matter, the news agency reported that suppliers were approached with new specifications, but it was unclear if it will be for an iPhone or separate device.

Apple's top competitor Samsung has been leading the charge for larger smartphone displays. Its flagship phone, theGalaxy S IV, has a 5-inch display. The company also has theGalaxy Note II, which is a larger device with a 5.5-inch screen that many have called a "phablet."

Apple did not immediately respond to CBS News' request for comment.