iPhone 12 Pro Might Not Have a 120Hz ProMotion Display Afterall

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The iPhone 12 is expected to debut later this year with a sleeker design, a smoother screen, improved cameras, and 5G connectivity. Multiple reports had claimed in the past that Apple would switch to OLED screens for all the iPhone 12 models, and the pricier iPhone 12 Pro models could have 120Hz displays. Now, a new report from a display market analyst claims otherwise.

According to Ross Young, CEO and Founder of DSCC (Display Supply Chain Consultants), none of his industry contacts could corroborate the presence of a 120Hz display panel on the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro Max. So, he has removed them from the company’s list of phones that feature a 120Hz (or higher) refresh rate.

Earlier, Ross had claimed that Apple would not use high-refresh-rate displays on its phones until it uses LTPO OLED panels. He has now tweeted that Apple is expected to switch to 120Hz LTPO screens on iPhones in 2021. The first report of Apple thinking about using a high-refresh-rate screen on the iPhone 12 came from Ice Universe (@UniverseIce), and the information was corroborated by DigiTimes. Even leaksters Jon Prosser and Max Weinbach had reported that Apple would use a 120Hz screen on the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

Ross, on the other hand, has been maintaining his stance that Apple will not switch to 120Hz displays until the company uses LTPO screens, which allow for a variable refresh rate (VRR). Apple first introduced ProMotion technology on the iPad Pro, and the tablet was able to switch the screen refresh rate depending on the task. Using variable refresh rate results in longer battery life as the screen doesn’t have to use the highest possible refresh rate at all times.

Our Take

It is possible that Apple tried and tested higher refresh rate on upcoming iPhones, and was convinced that the technology needs more time to offer a good mix of quality and power efficiency. Right now, almost all smartphones that use 120Hz or a higher refresh rate consume more than 40% power when compared to phones using 60Hz screens.

However, if Apple switches to OLED screens on all iPhone 12 models and doesn’t use a 120Hz screen on the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro Max, there might not be enough differentiation between Pro and non-Pro models in the iPhone 12 series.