iPhone 13 with 120Hz display is a sure thing — thanks to Samsung (report)

iPhone 12 Pro Max display App Library
(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Rumors of Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 lineup finally making the move to higher 120hz refresh rates in 2021 are starting to sound a lot more accurate. But unlike previous reports, not every model is expected to make the jump to ProMotion.

Samsung is reportedly set to start production on new low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) thin-film transistor (TFT) OLED displays for Apple, which means we can expect some buttery smooth, 120Hz frame rates for the upcoming iPhone 13 Pro models. 

According to research firm UBI Research (via The Elec), the LTPO TFT OLED panels will start production in the first half of 2021, setting up the launch of the iPhone 13 later this year.

Originally, Samsung Display had been manufacturing low-temperature polycrystalline silicon (LTPS) TFT OLED panels, but will now convert to using LTPO displays. 

Thanks to the reduced power consumption of these displays, the company can squeeze 120Hz refresh rates out of them without dramatically impacting the battery. The iPhone 12 was initially expected to bring higher refresh rates, but due to 5G already draining the smartphone's battery, that was scrapped.

Most recently, the LTPO displays have been used on the gaming-focused Asus ROG 5 smartphone, and it definitely delivers on its speeds (although that can deliver up to 144Hz). 

Only for iPhone 13 Pro

The Elec reports the LTPO TFT OLED panels are only coming to the higher-tier iPhone 13 versions, meaning the display upgrade will only be for the Pro and Pro Max models. As for the lower-end models, LG Display will provide standard LTPS TFT OLED panels.

This is slightly disappointing for those looking for the more affordable iPhone 13 option, but not entirely surprising seeing as models such as the iPhone 12 mini have issues with battery life, and a higher refresh rate wouldn't make it any better.

That's not the only display upgrade we're expecting from Apple, as the tech giant's rumored iPad Pro 2021 is expected to get a mini-LED display, which we might have seen by now if the Apple event hadn't been delayed (or purposefully scheduled later than normal).

Darragh Murphy

Darragh Murphy is fascinated by all things bizarre, which usually leads to assorted coverage varying from washing machines designed for AirPods to the mischievous world of cyberattacks. Whether it's connecting Scar from The Lion King to two-factor authentication or turning his love for gadgets into a fabricated rap battle from 8 Mile, he believes there’s always a quirky spin to be made. With a Master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from The University of Sheffield, along with short stints at Kerrang! and Exposed Magazine, Darragh started his career writing about the tech industry at Time Out Dubai and ShortList Dubai, covering everything from the latest iPhone models and Huawei laptops to massive Esports events in the Middle East. Now, he can be found proudly diving into gaming, gadgets, and letting readers know the joys of docking stations for Laptop Mag.