Apple's iPhone 13 Pro to use 120Hz LTPO displays from Samsung

Apple's iPhone 13 Pro to use 120Hz LTPO displays from Samsung
The iPhone is stuck in the past. Nowadays most premium smartphones feature smooth 120Hz displays as standard, but the iPhone 12 Pro series settles for a more traditional 60Hz panel. This could change with the iPhone 13 Pro launch in the fall, and a new report claims Samsung is going to play an important role.

The iPhone 13 Pro will exclusively use Samsung's LTPO displays

The Elec is reporting that Samsung Display has been selected as the exclusive supplier of the LTPO OLED panels that Apple requires for the planned 120Hz ProMotion feature on the upcoming iPhone 13 Pro models.

Apple had originally researched the idea of a 120Hz screen for the iPhone 12 Pro but scrapped the idea at the last hurdle due to the impact on battery life, which was already suffering because of 5G. This year’s implementation will rely on LTPO tech. It essentially means the display’s refresh rate can be dynamically adapted based on the content that’s being shown to the user.

When a static image is on screen, for example, the refresh rate can be lowered down to 10Hz. On the other hand, when a high refresh rate game is being played, it’ll increase to the maximum supported 120Hz refresh rate.

The display’s ability to operate at lower refresh rates, something not possible on existing iPhone models, might lead to a noticeable improvement in the battery life department. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in April that the iPhone 13 Pro’s display could cut power consumption by around 15-20%.

The standard iPhone 13 won't offer 120Hz

The iPhone 13 Pro’s 120Hz ProMotion tech will essentially be Apple’s version of the feature that Samsung already offers on the Galaxy S21 Ultra. The cheaper Galaxy S21 models also support a 120Hz refresh rate, but the LTPO tech isn’t included.

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Apple won’t be following suit. Instead, the vanilla iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini will stick to the 60Hz OLED tech that’s used on the existing iPhone 12 line. These displays will reportedly be supplied by Samsung Display, LG Display, and OLED.

One feature in the display department that’s rumored to be included on all iPhone 13 models is a smaller notch. After four generations of the existing notch, leaks suggest Apple is finally prepping a new implementation.

Don’t expect any drastic changes, though. The new notch is going to see a reduction in width but will almost certainly retain the existing height. It’s made possible by moving the in-ear speaker to the edge of the frame.

Other visual changes are expected on the rear of the iPhone 13 series. Alleged CAD files of the standard models recently showcased an updated camera bump with a diagonal sensor layout. The iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max, on the other hand, are set to retain the existing layout but use larger sensors, so the camera bump itself could end up being noticeably bigger.

Expected iPhone 13 Pro announcement date and prices

The iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro models are set to be announced in early September, around a month earlier than last year’s October iPhone 12 reveal. A release in the second half of the month is likely.

Unlike Samsung, Apple has resisted hiking the prices of its most premium models since 2017. If that trend continues this year, expect the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max to retail at $999 and $1,099 in the US. The iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini will likely keep the $799 and $699 price points of their predecessors.

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