iPhone 13 with LTPO technology and 120 Hz refresh rate?

According to the Korean website "The Elec" two out of four of the iPhone 13 models, which should be on the market next year (presumably the Pro models), use OLED displays with LTPO technology with low power consumption, which paves the way for a refresh rate of 120 Hz. So does the iPhone 13 really come with LPTO technology and a 120 HZ refresh rate?

Samsung and LG remain Apple's main suppliers

According to the report, Samsung and LG will continue to be Apple's main suppliers of OLED displays, which are expected to be used across the iPhone 13 lineup. The Chinese manufacturer BOE is also aiming for some orders. The displays are said to be "technologically more sophisticated" to manufacture than those used in the iPhone 12 models.

LTPO technology would result in a more energy efficient backplane, which is responsible for turning individual pixels on and off on the display. This, in turn, could enable a refresh rate of 120 Hz for smoother scrolling and smoother movements without affecting battery life too much. Similar to the latest Apple Watch models, LTPO could also enable iPhone 13 models to have a display that is always on and contribute to longer battery life.

While some rumors indicated that iPhone 12 Pro models support a refresh rate of 120Hz, display industry analyst Ross Young claimed just the opposite, noting that the feature will be added alongside LTPO in 2021. iPad Pro models have supported an update rate of up to 2017 Hz since 120 thanks to a function called ProMotion, which automatically adjusts the update rate depending on the content. A large number of Android smartphones also have 120 Hz displays.

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Always On Display for iPhone?

Last month's supply chain report increased the possibility that the Flagship iPhones next year with an Always On Display similar to the Apple Watch. A follow-up report suggests that the same screen technology could also enable ProMotion and 120 Hz.

Both reports indicate that LG is offering the iPhone the same type of OLED panels that are currently used in the Apple Watch Series 5. Last month's report stated that LG will be manufacturing LTPO screens for next year's Pro iPhone models. LG Display will increase the production rate of its Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) panel production lines for Apple. TheElec has learned that […] LG Display plans to use thin film transistors (TFT) for polycrystalline low temperature oxide (LPTO) […].

So Apple is planning to apply LTPO TFT to the Pro iPhone models that will hit the market next year. So far, the TFT method has been used for polycrystalline silicon (LTPS) at low temperature. An oxide TFT process is added to make LPTO TFT. LTPO panels allow variable update rates. If you drop the refresh rate to an extremely low rate, it will use a lot less power. This enables the Apple Watch Series 5 to be displayed all the time. At the other end of the scale, the refresh rate could be increased to 120 Hz for ultra-reactive and fluid graphics. A iPhone 13 with LTPO technology could offer many advantages over the iPhone 12 display!

A couple of warnings. First This isn't the first time we've heard rumors about a ProMotion display in the iPhone - the same rumors circulated about the iPhone 12 Pro, and these of course turned out to be false. Secondly: While an LPTO display opens up the possibility of a permanently active display, this does not mean that Apple will also use this function. The Apple Watch Series 4 also has an LTPO screen, but the company decided at the time not to treat its display that is always on.

About David Maul

David Maul is a qualified business IT specialist with a passion for hardware

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