2021 iPhone 13 Pro Could Feature High Refresh Rate LTPO Displays

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Apple is reportedly looking to use LTPO panels in at least two of the four iPhone 13 models planned for 2021.

LG Display is looking to expand the production of its OLED panel factory lines to gain more orders from Apple. The use of LTPO will help lower power consumption and also allow Apple to offer a variable refresh rate. This will be important as only an addition of a high refresh rate panel will lead to a notable increase in power consumption which Apple could negate by using a variable refresh rate panel.

Apple is expected to use LTPO technology for the two iPhone models out of the four it will be planning for next year. Samsung Display, which also supplies OLED panels to Apple, is expected to transfer some parts of its A3 line at Asan, South Korea, for its iPhone supply. A3 has a monthly production capacity of 105,000 substrates.

As of now, Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is the only device in the market to use an LTPO OLED panel The LTPO panel allows the device to seamlessly switch between 10Hz, 30Hz, 50/60Hz, 90Hz, and 120Hz to reduce power consumption depending on the content being displayed. Samsung claims this leads to a reduction of power consumption by about 22%. Apple offers a similar experience with the ProMotion display on its iPad Pro lineup but they make use of LCD panels rather than OLED panels.

Apple uses OLED LTPO panels on the Apple Watch Series 5 and Series 6 which allows them to offer features like Always-on Display without having a major impact on battery life.

Our Take

It is possible that Apple could end up keeping the ProMotion high-refresh rate panels exclusive to the Pro iPhone 13 series in 2021. This will allow the company to better differentiate between the regular and the Pro models as well. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has already detailed his iPhone 13 expectations for next year claiming they will ship with an improved ultra-wide angle camera.

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