A curved screen, long-rumored to be in the cards for Apple, is among the prototypes, people familiar with the matter told the Journal. Apple suppliers have been asked to create thinner screens with better resolution to one-up Samsung's Galaxy Edge, the Journal reported.
In addition to competing with Apple's smartphones, Samsung is one of the only companies in the world that can make large enough quantities of flexible screens for Apple. Experts had previously told CNBC that it was unlikely any other supplier could match Samsung's expertise at a large scale within the next year.
But Apple might have to cooperate with the enemy, as flexible screens pave the way for innovations like foldable smartphones. A new form factor like a foldable phone could silence critics who have decried Apple's recent lack of innovation.