- Apple will be switching to LTPO displays with a 120 Hz refresh rate for its iPhone 13 lineup.
- The company will reportedly source it from Samsung Display, its major supplier of OLED panels at present.
- Samsung will be converting its OLED production lines to those of LTPO to meet the demand.
Citing a study by market research firm UBI Research, a new report by The Elec states that Apple will be introducing new LTPO displays in its iPhone 13 lineup. It mentions that the company will source these displays from Samsung Display's OLED lineup.
For this, Samsung is rumoured to convert its lineup of OLED displays to LTPO and supply them to Apple within the first half of this year. Samsung Display currently provides its OLED displays to Apple as its major supplier of displays for iPhones.
For those unaware, low-temperature polycrystalline oxide or LTPO thin-film transistor (TFT) displays are known to be more power-efficient than regular OLED displays. We have seen these displays on devices including Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra, Asus ROG Phone 5, and Apple Watch.
In addition to being more efficient, LTPO also supports screen refresh rates of up to 120Hz, a feature that is currently missing from iPhones. The shift from OLED to LTPO can thus mark a dramatic step up for the upcoming iPhones in 2021 as compared to their previous generations.
The report mentions that Samsung Display can guarantee a supply of 30,000 LTPO OLED display substrates to Apple per month. This will be a drop in the total display units supplied to Apple by Samsung. The report states that this is because of an added oxide process in the production of LTPO panels.
Samsung is expected to complete the conversion of its production lines to LTPO TFT within the first half of 2021. Once finished, the report mentions a total production capacity of the lines to be 70,000 substrates per month, down from the previous 105,000.
The report is in line with earlier rumours surrounding the 2021 iPhone models. As per noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is bringing the new display technology to its higher-end iPhone models, namely iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max. In addition to the improvements in display, Kuo also mentioned a significant camera update to be looked forward to on the new iPhones. To back all this, Kuo expects a larger battery backup on the upcoming models than last year's iPhones.