Microsoft is reported to be working on manufacturing its own smartphone to accompany its recently launched self-made ‘Surface’ tablet.

According to sources at the Wall Street Journal, the software giant is working with component suppliers in Asia on its own smartphone design.

The device under consideration is reported to have a four- to five-inch screen, which would pitch it in competition with the likes of the Apple iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S III.  But sources warned that it was not certain that the phone would reach mass production.

Microsoft launched the ‘Surface’ tablet earlier this year. The move to manufacture its own hardware is seen as an attempt to mimic Apple, which is able to closely integrate software and hardware.

However, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Monday, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer declined to comment on the speculation, saying he was committed to third-party vendors running the firm’s Windows Phone software.

“We’re quite happy this holiday [season] going to market hard with Nokia, Samsung and HTC,” said Ballmer. “Whether we had a plan to do something different or we didn’t have a plan I wouldn’t comment in any dimension.”

Microsoft last attempted its own phone range in 2010 with the ‘Kin’ line of youth-oriented smartphones, though this was quickly killed off.