Apple WatchSource: iMore

What you need to know

  • A report claims future iPhones may feature LTPO display tech.
  • LTPO is already used in Apple Watch Series 4 and 5.
  • The source does not give a timeline for the switch.

A report from Korean outlet The Elec via MacRumors claims that Apple may be planning to adopt LTPO OLED panels in future iPhones.

According to the report:

Apple, meanwhile, is moving to more widely apply LTPO panels to its iPhones. This means it needs to find ways to work together with Samsung Display, which is holding its own in terms of both technological prowess and production capacity in the small and mid-sized OLED sector.

LTPO technology is currently used in the Apple Watch Series 4 and Series 5. LTPO stands for low temperature poly-silicon and oxide display, and is the secret behind Apple Watch's always-on display. It allows the screen refresh rate change from 60Hz to just 1Hz when Apple Watch isn't in use, bringing better efficiency and power management so as to preserve battery life.

The report notes that LTPO uses about 15% less power than current display tech in the iPhone, so if it was introduced it could make for some pretty big savings in battery life. It's unlikely that it would pave the way for an "always-on" iPhone, given there's no real need for this tech in a phone which spends plenty of time tucked away in bags and pockets.

The report from The Elec offers no timescale as to when Apple could introduce LTPO tech to the iPhone. MacRumors notes that it "would not be surprising" if it came as early as next year.