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Analyst: iPhone 12 series may only get 60Hz displays, high refresh rate displays only expected on next year’s iPhone

iPhone fans will be disappointed to learn that the latest models may not come with high-refresh rate ProMotion displays. This news comes from a new research note by Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo which noted the entire line, even the “Pro” models will be missing the feature.

Kuo anticipates that Apple is going to keep the iPhone 12 displays at 60Hz for another year. The reason cited for this decision is the impact higher refresh rate displays would have on the phone’s battery life.

He predicts that the Cupertino-based company will include 120Hz displays in its 2021 iPhone lineup. It is suspected that Apple plans to use the more power-efficient LTPO (Low- Temperature Polycrystalline Oxide) displays on those phones.

In case you don’t know, LTPO is a special kind of backplane technology designed for OLED screens and is developed by Apple. They were first introduced in the Series 4 Apple Watch, providing a dynamically changing refresh rate on the screen. This tech allows the Series 5 Watches to offer an always-on display that doesn’t severely affect the battery life.

There are already a number of modern Android flagships that come with high-refresh screens between 90Hz up to 144Hz. This includes the phones like Samsung Galaxy S20-series, Asus ROG Phone 3, Samsung Galaxy Note 20 series and Sony Xperia 5 II. Even mid-range devices like the Poco X3 NFC sports a 120Hz display.

The exclusion of this feature could be a deal-breaker for tech enthusiasts looking to upgrade to the latest iPhone. But we will have to wait until Apple’s October event to know for certain.

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Faster refresh rates generally improve the user experience as it results in smoother scrolling and improved responsiveness. This is especially true when playing mobile games and watching videos that support the feature.

Industry insider Ross Young provides an alternate explanation. According to him, though Apple is able to get their hands on high-fresh rate panels there are not enough driver ICs (integrated circuit) to drive pixels at 120Hz. Faced with the prospect of delaying the launch of the next iPhone, Apple is purported to have gone ahead with launching the phone with a standard 60Hz display.

Kuo’s report also mentioned that the 5.4″ iPhone 12 will allegedly have a slightly slimmer notch. This is done supposedly to accommodate information in the top left and right corners, showing details like the mobile network’s signal strength or the time. Conversely, the larger iPhone 12 series models are expected to rock the same notch used in the iPhone 11 series.

Aside from that, the entire iPhone 12 lineup is expected to support 5G connectivity with two versions of each model set to be available. This means there might be sub-6GHz-only and sub-6GHz-plus-mmWave versions of the iPhone 12.


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