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iPhone 13 series may have two Pro models with 120Hz OLED screens

Apple might launch the iPhone 13 with only Pro models having the 120Hz OLED screens.

twitter-logoShubham Verma | January 7, 2021 | Updated 16:36 IST

Highlights

  • The iPhone 13 Pro models might come with 120Hz LTPO OLED screens.
  • The other two iPhone 13 models might settle for 60Hz OLED panels.
  • Apple, however, might harmonise 120Hz refresh rate on all iPhone 14 models.

It has been a little over three months and talks about Apple's next generation of iPhones have already begun. The iPhone 13, as it is being called, will definitely be an upgrade over the current iPhone 12 retaining major features such as the 5G support, three cameras, and more. But it might finally have what the iPhone 12 was supposed to feature, the 120Hz screen. According to a new report, Samsung will supply the 120Hz LTPO OLED displays to Apple for the upcoming iPhone 13 series. At least two 'Pro' models will feature the 120Hz refresh rate.

Per the report by Korea's The Elec, Apple has contracted with Samsung for the LTPO OLED displays that will be used on the two iPhone 13 Pro models. These two models will be costlier than the rest of the models in the series. It is expected Apple will launch four models again this year as successors to each one in the iPhone 12 series. These two models will use the LTPS OLED panels with 60Hz refresh rate, meaning they will not be much of an upgrade over the current generation iPhone models. LTPO panels are better than LTPS as they allow variable refresh rates without needing extra hardware.

But while the iPhone 13 models might have this discrepancy, Apple will likely harmonise displays on the iPhone 14 series that would launch in the year 2022. According to the report, Apple is planning to use LTPO OLED screens on all iPhone 14 models. The iPhone maker could even rope in LG Display as the second supplier in addition to continuing with Samsung Display. But Samsung is the only company to meet demands that Apple might have with the iPhone 13. The company is said to be planning to produce 60,000 sheets per month while LG only manufactures 5,000 sheets a month. However, LG Display has plans to expand the production to put out 25,000 sheets per month.

The biggest reason behind that is the complexity in the manufacturing of LTPO OLED panels. These panels require an oxide layer in the mix, which is a little complex to bring about. Apart from being hard to produce, the LTPO OLED panels are also expensive, explaining why Apple wants to reserve them for the Pro models in the iPhone 13 lineup. These displays will also allow the upcoming iPhone 13 models to save power between 5 and 15 per cent while running at 120Hz rate. Having LTPO solves Apple's conundrum that it faced with the iPhone 12.

It is said that Apple wanted to go with both 5G and 120Hz refresh rate on the iPhone 12. However, it had the power budget for only one feature, so it decided to ditch the 120Hz refresh rate in favour of the next-generation 5G connectivity. All iPhone 12 models come with support for 5G but the iPhone 12 Pro variants have the mmWave band for faster 5G networks available exclusively from Verizon in the US.

Apple uses LTPO on the Apple Watch, which it began using with the Series 4 models. These displays can lower the refresh rate to as low as 1Hz to save an enormous amount of power. The iPhone 13 lineup could also have support for Always-On Display with the availability of LTPO OLED panels but nothing is set in stone yet.

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