It's not often Microsoft turns its focus to hardware, but it did so to produce the new Surface tablet this year, which has gotten off to a rather successful start. With the hope of continuing that success, Microsoft is now looking to produce its own smartphone, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The company is said to be testing the device, which will be powered by Microsoft's Windows Phone platform, with suppliers in Asia. While a lot of the specifics are unknown at this early stage, the report does note that the device will have a display somewhere between four and five inches in size.

Microsoft has previously dismissed reports that have suggested it will build its own smartphone, choosing instead to promote third-party hardware from partners like Nokia, HTC, and Samsung. However, just this month, following the launch of the Surface RT, company CEO Steve Ballmer said that Microsoft was "obviously" interested in creating more hardware going forward.

The Verge follows up The Journal's report with information from its own sources, who claim that while Microsoft is considering its own smartphone, it's unlikely that the device would appear before the end of 2012. They also note that the device would probably be deployed as Microsoft's "Plan B" if Windows Phone 8 fails to gain traction.

Would you like to see a new smartphone from Microsoft?

[Via: The Verge]