From the report:
LG Display will expand the production rate of its organic light emitting diode (OLED) panel factory lines dedicated to Apple, TheElec has learned.
LG Display is planning to put in low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LPTO) thin-film transistors (TFT) equipment that can add 25,000 substrates per month in monthly production rate into the lines by next year.
The LTPO equipment being placed in the factory lines will be for OLED panel supply to iPhone next year, while the ones after May will likely be for panels for iPhones of 2022.
LTPO technology would result in a more power efficient backplane, which is responsible for turning individual pixels on and off on the display. The technology could pave the way for longer battery life and/or new features like ProMotion or always-on display elements.
Display analyst Ross Young believes that LTPO is essential if Apple plans to support ProMotion in a future iPhone, as it would allow for a variable refresh as low as 1Hz when the device is inactive in order to optimize battery life. ProMotion allows for a variable refresh rate of up to 120Hz for smoother motion content and greater responsiveness. The feature debuted on the iPad Pro in 2017. There were rumors that some iPhone 12 models could feature ProMotion, but that never came to pass, possibly due to battery life concerns.
Apple Watch Series 5 and Series 6 models already use LTPO displays, which enables them to have the same up-to-18-hour battery life as earlier Apple Watch models despite having an always-on display. The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and Z Fold 2 were the first smartphones with high refresh rate OLED displays that support adaptively changing the refresh rate.
According to the report, Apple will use LTPO technology for the two higher-tier iPhone models out of the four that it plans to launch in 2021. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects Apple to release its “iPhone 13” lineup next year in four same-size models as the iPhone 12 series.