A new patent published earlier this week by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office contains Apple's plans for a variable refresh display of up to 240Hz for upcoming iPhone displays.
As reported by Patently Apple, the listing gave examples of phones with various refresh rates starting with a 60Hz display that would automatically increase to 120Hz, 180Hz, or 240Hz.
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If you're not familiar with why higher refresh rates are better, in laymen's terms, the faster your screen refreshes, the smoother the images and content on your phone will appear. Most phones and many televisions have an average refresh rate of 60Hz per second, though a few higher-end products go up to 120Hz. So faster is better and with many users now gaming on their phones, a quicker refresh rate makes the whole experience much better.
Previously, there were rumors of a 120Hz display for the iPhone 12 before its release. However, Apple tends to either come out swinging or take a measured approach to things to ensure the mostly proprietary ecosystem functions as they wish it to.
It has been rumored in recent months that Apple will be adopting LTPO low power screens so it can move toward displays with high refresh rates without affecting battery life.
The other rumor that seems to lean toward such an adoption is that the iPhone 13 lineup will move to an always-on-display with a 120Hz refresh rate. With an always-on display, users can see information, such as time, date, and battery life, without turning on the full color, battery-draining screen. Currently, iPhones feature OLED displays, which means each pixel is individually controlled, allowing the iPhone to individually turn on the pixels needed to show users the information they seek, thus preserving battery life.