With the iPhone 5S release date fast approaching, an interesting new report suggests that next-generation iPhones and iPads could see larger screen sizes in the future. While not necessarily designated for the respective devices to be released this fall, the report by the Wall Street Journal notes that, courtesy of officials at the company’s suppliers, Apple is testing larger screens for a purported 12.9-inch iPad and larger than 4-inch iPhone.

Apple currently boasts an arsenal of 9.7-inch iPads with Retina display, 7.9-inch iPad minis, and a 4-inch iPhone that once measured 3.5-inches. The report notes, “In recent months, Apple has asked for prototype smartphone screens larger than 4 inches and has also asked for screen designs for a new tablet device measuring slightly less than 13 inches diagonally, they said.”

The WSJ report comes just a week after conflicting accounts thought the iPhone 5S and iPad mini production may, or may not, be delayed and months after Tim Cook’s cryptic Q1 earnings conference call in which he said Apple would not, under any circumstances, ship an iPhone with a larger display  resolution, color quality, white balance, reflectivity, power consumption, compatibility of apps, and portability trade-offs still exist.

The big issues surrounding the rumored production delays and poor shipment yields had to do with the display of both the iPhone 5S and iPad mini. In the case of the 5S, it’s been thought the circuit chip used to regulate the current flowing through circuit to drive the LCD screen is having some kind of undisclosed issue.

Similar display issues have been gossiped about with the iPad mini, which Apply loyalists were hoping for by this fall but may just get an updated version with minor tweaks. Apple has been throwing around the idea of including a Retina display in it’s miniature tablet, like the normal-sized flagship, though the Cupertino engineers seem to have hit a snag in implementing the correct number of pixels in the 7.9-inch display, nearly two inches smaller than the 9.7-inch iPad.

Should the new report hold some truth, it could be a very exciting time for Apple and its devoted user-base as aside from some technical updates, the Steve Jobs-founded company hasn’t released a brand-new innovation since the late Jobs’s untimely passing. Rumors of a smartwatch unofficially, though aptly, dubbed the iWatch have injected more optimism into Apple fans but a larger smartphone and tablet series could bode even better against the competition, namely the likes of Samsung’s Galaxy S4 and its 4.8-inch AMOLED display.

There’s been no confirmation on price yet but a former report slapped the alleged low-cost iPhone with a $349 price tag worth 16GB of internal storage, $449 for 32GB of storage, and $559 for 64GB. To put it in perspective, a 16GB iPhone 5 carried by either AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon goes for just $199 with a two year contract from Apple’s website.

[mockup via Apple Insider]