A 120Hz 'Always On' display could be coming to the iPhone 13

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Samsung Display is converting their Apple-dedicated OLED line to build LTPO displays for Apple.
  • The move has indicated that the iPhone 13 might be the first to get a 120Hz display.

It looks like Apple's supply chain partners are getting ready to pump out some 120Hz displays for the iPhone 13.

As reported by The Elec, new details from UBI Research says that Samsung Display is getting ready to convert its dedicated OLED line, which it uses to manufacture displays for Apple, into one that will build "low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) thin-film transistor (TFT) within the first half of 2021."

Samsung has already used the display type on its Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, and it appears that the screen technology will now be coming to Apple's Pro line of iPhones.

Samsung Display calls it LTPO TFT technology Adaptive Frequency. It has applied the technology first on Samsung Electronics' Galaxy Note20 Ultra. Most recently, it was applied to OLED panels for Asus ROG5 smartphone.Apple is planning to use LTPO TFT OLED panels for the higher-tier models in its iPhone series launching later this year. Samsung Display will be exclusive vendor for LTPO TFT OLED panels. LG Display, which also supplies OLED panels to Cupertino, will be providing LTPS TFT OLED panels.

It also appears that BOE will be picking up what Samsung is leaving behind and will be manufacturing OLED displays for the company's iPhone models that do not use the new technology.

BOE has also begun putting in equipment to build an Apple dedicated line at its B12 plant at Chongqing since December, UBI Research also said. The line is aiming to begin production in November. BOE got the go-ahead from Apple to supply OLED panels in December last year, the research firm added.

If you're not planning on waiting for the iPhone 13, check out our list of the Best iPhone of 2021.

For Apple, LTPO was first introduced on the Apple Watch Series 5. The technology enabled Apple to release the "Always On" feature for the watch. The display technology allows for a wide range of refresh rates at lower power consumption, so it coming to the iPhone might be what Apple was waiting for to bring 120Hz to its flagship smartphones.

LTPO is also able to go down to a 1Hz refresh rate, so the company could bring some version of "Always On" to the iPhone as well.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.