iPhone 13 Pro models coming next year could feature low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) OLED panels, that would allow for higher refresh rates of up to 120Hz and also features such as an always-on display.
Rumour has it that Samsung and LG would continue to be the primary supplier of OLED panels for Apple. However, two of its four models (presumably the Pro variants) would use a new LTPO OLED display, similar to what it introduced with the Apple Watch Series 4. With a variable refresh rate of such a panel, it’s possible that Apple could finally introduce 90Hz or even 120Hz refresh rates in its iPhone models.
According to a report by Korean website TheElec, iPhone 13’s OLED panels would be more technologically sophisticated compared to the ones used in the iPhone 12 (Review) series. It is being speculated that Apple would introduce this new LTPO display technology in only two of the four models, however all iPhone 13 models are said to use on-cell touchscreens. On-cell technology should allow the display to be slimmer and offer better touch response since the multitouch functionality would be on a thin-film transistor (TFT), rather than a separate component above the display.
With LTPO, Apple would be able to drop the refresh rate really low along with the brightness, that could allow for an always-on display mode that users can opt to use. On the other hand, it could also dynamically bump up the refresh rate beyond 60Hz in apps that can take advantage of it, similar to its ProMotion technology in iPads. We still need to take all of this with a pinch of salt since back in May this year, the rumour mill suggested that iPhone 12 Pro (Review) and iPhone 12 Pro Max (Review) would have 120Hz displays and that clearly didn’t happen. So, even if Apple does use LTPO OLED displays on its iPhone 13 Pro models, there’s no guarantee as to what features would actually be available.