Apple is reportedly thinking about doubling the refresh rate on next year's iPhone displays

Apple is reportedly thinking about doubling the refresh rate on next year's iPhone displays
The refresh rate on a smartphone display measures how many times the image on the screen is updated each second. For example, most non-gaming smartphones have a 60Hz rate which means that they update the screen 60 times each second. The faster the rate, the smoother animations look; this is why a gaming phone like the Razer Phone 2 has a 120Hz rate. It also makes scrolling buttery smooth. Of course, as with everything in life, there is a tradeoff. A faster refresh rate is more taxing on a phone's battery.

The average Joe doesn't think about something like the refresh rate on his or her phone, but that didn't stop OnePlus from promoting it on the OnePlus 7 Pro. The latter features a 90Hz rate although it can be toggled down to 60Hz to conserve the battery. And now it seems that other phone manufacturers are following this trend. There is speculation that the Huawei Mate 30 Pro, expected to launch in the fourth quarter this year, will carry a display with a 90Hz refresh rate. And a tweet disseminated today by tipster Ice Universe (@universeIce) says that Apple is considering a switchable 120Hz/60Hz refresh rate for the 2020 iPhone models. The tweet notes that Apple has discussed this already with its OLED panel suppliers, Samsung and LG.

Apple already sells mobile devices that sport a display with a 120Hz refresh rate


Producing a mobile device with a screen that refreshes at 120Hz wouldn't be new for Apple. Both the 12.9-inch and 10.5-inch iPad Pro tablets released in 2017 have what Apple calls the ProMotion display, which is just Cupertino's fancy term for a screen sporting a 120Hz refresh rate. And this is also found on last year's 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro units as well. Considering that Apple already has a trademarked name for such a feature, you can expect the company to use it when it starts promoting the 2020 iPhones in about 14 months from now. But the ProMotion displays also drop down to a refresh rate of 24Hz when a static image is displayed, and switch to 48Hz for streaming video. This is done to conserve battery life. 


While the new iPhone models we expect to see unveiled in less than two months will be similar to the 2018 units (except for the square camera module on the back of the phone and the possibility of a reverse wireless charging feature), the 2020 models will reportedly be redesigned. According to reliable TF International analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, we should see three iPhones next year with the screen sizes of 6.7-inches, 6.1-inches, and 5.4-inches. While all three handsets will sport OLED displays, the larger and smaller iPhones will support mmWave and sub-6GHz 5G connectivity (all three models will support 5G in 2021). They also will have thinner bezels and no notch. The latest version of the components used to build the TrueDepth Camera are said to be significantly smaller; we could even see Touch ID return to the iPhone next year, although it would be an in-display version.


Because the reverse wireless charging feature transfers power from the host phone's battery, we already expect Apple to bump up the battery capacities for the 2019 iPhone models. Another larger bump will be necessary for the 2020 units for two reasons. First, two of the new handsets will be 5G enabled. Secondly, a 120Hz refresh rate is going to consume plenty of power even if it does make the aforementioned adjustments for a static image and streaming video. According to the rumor, Apple will make life easy; if the battery life doesn't meet a user's needs, he or she can simply switch back to 60Hz. The only problem is that once you get used to your phone's display refreshing at 120Hz, you are going to be extremely disappointed returning to 60Hz.

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66 Comments

1. darkkjedii

Posts: 30966; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Everything good about future iPhones, point to next year. This years iPhone is looking more and more like a definite skip. Leo, iloveapps, and maybe one other hardcore may buy it, but 2020 looks to be the year.

3. JMartin22

Posts: 2369; Member since: Apr 30, 2013

The aforementioned people would buy a melted slab of metal and glass if they can discern the Apple logo on it.

5. sgodsell

Posts: 7207; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

I always said if Apple sold a mounted piece of dog poop with an Apple logo on it, then Apple would still sell them. And there would people that would praise this item from Apple. The real truth, is all the hardware that the 2020/2021 iPhones are going to receive, are already on some Android smartphones today. With more coming this year. Gone are the days with Apple having the latest technology.

6. apple-rulz

Posts: 2020; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

Yet you are obsessed with all things Apple, so clearly android isn't fulfilling your needs.

9. midan

Posts: 2708; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

"I always said if Apple sold a mounted piece of dog poop with an Apple logo on it, then Apple would still sell them. And there would people that would praise this item from Apple." So you say but why don't HomePod then selling millions?

10. mackan84

Posts: 375; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

Apple has never really been first with anything. They implement tech that is useful and tried and put a little salt on it. Amoled with 120hz was just something they had to wait for.

31. Leo_MC

Posts: 7203; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

So, Apple should have done by now something that it wasn't technologically possible?

29. Leo_MC

Posts: 7203; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

The sales of the Apple speaker is proof enough that you're just trolling.

8. midan

Posts: 2708; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

I propably upgrade for the camera because i skipped XS where i didn't see any reason for upgrade. Next year model sounds like a big upgrade and i upgrade again then if there's something i want.

40. kEaNu

Posts: 42; Member since: May 10, 2018

Same here, my Iphone X camera is starting to get old and underwhelming, I will buy the 2019 Iphone and the 2020 too.

27. Leo_MC

Posts: 7203; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

I only got the XR because it was free; I was perfectly fine with 7; far from me to waste money on useless things.

4. User123456789

Posts: 818; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

Sony = 120/144Hz (flagship and midranges) Sharp = 120 Hz ( flagship and midranges) Razer = 120Hz ROG, OP7 and Mi9 = 90Hz. Nothing new ..... Of course it is easier to apply on LCD.

23. Vokilam

Posts: 1181; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

Wasn’t the iPad the first mobile device to have 120hz screen?

35. yyzamin

Posts: 382; Member since: Aug 26, 2015

Forgot to add the iPad Pro to that list. It was the first device that had a 120hz screen.

7. CEDEOTB

Posts: 391; Member since: Nov 21, 2016

Yes do it Apple please! This will force Android OEM's to do it too.

12. User123456789

Posts: 818; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

6 at least have already done

13. Fred3

Posts: 495; Member since: Jan 16, 2018

you're at least a year late sir

14. OneLove123

Posts: 969; Member since: Aug 28, 2018

Can’t be serious.

11. Poptart2828

Posts: 361; Member since: Jan 23, 2018

Why is Apple playing catch up. It's been like this for years now. Can't they stay in the forefront so at the very least they can be seen as a company that's interested in pushing new tech forward for everyone to benefit from . Right now, they seem like they are more interested in looking for new ways to milk the same cow.

15. midan

Posts: 2708; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

How you think company who does phones one time a year can beat all the other OEMs together? Years ago competion wasn’t this big at all. Also new tech cost a lot of money and who can build them as much as Apple needs. Also having all kind of new stuff they need to be sure that it’s working very well. They can’t just try stuffs like smaller companies with tiny sales. ”Can't they stay in the forefront so at the very least they can be seen as a company that's interested in pushing new tech forward for everyone to benefit from” They do that, Face ID is latest great example of that.

16. User123456789

Posts: 818; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

For the price charged iphone should be the best at everything. Also provide more software options like controls for camera, audio and screen.

28. midan

Posts: 2708; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

That’s impossible. Companies try to put most important things for their devices and try to offer overally the package what people want. Every device have their pros and cons, because you can’t have everything. For example space inside the phone is limitless. Apple clearly have found the overall packet what people want to buy and use. So they clearly do right choices.

32. Leo_MC

Posts: 7203; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

"iphone should be the best at everything" The same is true for every single product (Apple, Google or Xiaomi made): it should only be the best for their target user's needs and wants.

53. blingblingthing

Posts: 945; Member since: Oct 23, 2012

Thank you very much. If you're asking your fans for top dollar, you need to be bringing that to them.

17. MrMalignance

Posts: 295; Member since: Feb 17, 2013

@Midan: To be fair, they are the ones who choose how many devices they release, and when. If they wanted to, they could stagger a release, with a higher tier coming later, like Samsung does with the Note line. I know they can't play as loose as other companies, but they are also being very conservative with their improvements and innovation. They do tend to get some tevh late, but I understand that it is due to them tweaking it so it works perfectly on their handsets. The whole point is that they appear to be somewhat floundering, due to the lack of exciting innovation. They do a lot of bare bones, basic tech, but the optics are not great for basic. I'm not trying to trash them, but you have to admit that it's hard to stand out when every other company is flamboyant and going full throttle. It ends up being like the turtle and the hare. Not that I believe they'll "win the race" since there is no real winner, except the rich companies getting richer

19. Vancetastic

Posts: 1103; Member since: May 17, 2017

He will likely not answer your logical comment. He’s a troll that likes to play with other trolls.

26. mackan84

Posts: 375; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

To be fair no other company has given anything useful and innovating these last years. Smartphone has come to a kinda halt in innovation. With the only fresh new thing is foldables and we don’t even know if it’s practical or any good at all. We all know more hz gives a pleasing feel either if it’s a small screen or a big screen. Oleds couldn’t do 90hz+ until recently. Latest innovation Apple brought to smartphones is 64-bit chipset. And they are still pretty much on top with their A-series. Does it matter when we all have a all screen-smartphone in a couple of years? They will all be the same.

30. midan

Posts: 2708; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

”To be fair no other company has given anything useful and innovating these last years. Smartphone has come to a kinda halt in innovation.” Exactly

34. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1377; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

It's funny how innovation changes its definition for the Apple crew whenever it makes Apple look bad for not doing enough of it.

36. mackan84

Posts: 375; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

Sorry didn’t know you knew me. What was my definition before? Innovation for me is when taking existing tech and making it better. And Apple and everyone else keeps doing it but it just isn’t as big of a milestone nowadays. Just small refinements that gets a “nice” instead of a “wow”. I see smartphones as a platform for apps. The apps are still the most innovating about a smartphone. Social, economy and fun. Whenever you hear about a popular app, they did something innovating. Like the recently FaceApp. When millions flock around one app it has done something innovating that has gotten our interest.

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