Low-Power LTPO Technology Not Expected on iPhones Until 2021, Possibly Delaying ProMotion

Multiple sources have indicated that Apple is considering expanding its ProMotion technology to the iPhone, allowing for a variable refresh rate of up to 120Hz for smoother motion content and greater responsiveness. The feature debuted on the iPad Pro in 2017.

iphone 11 pro display video
The rumors began in July 2019 when a reputable Samsung leaker known as "Ice Universe" on Twitter said Apple was considering a switchable 60Hz/120Hz refresh rate on at least one iPhone in 2020. This was followed by a DigiTimes Taiwan report in October that claimed Apple would release an iPhone with a 120Hz display this year.

More recently, both Max Weinbach and Jon Prosser have claimed that this year's higher-end iPhone 12 Pro models will in fact support ProMotion, although Prosser said there is a possibility that Apple could disable ProMotion at the software level prior to the devices launching if it decides the feature consumes too much battery life.

On that note, display analyst Ross Young today tweeted that the rumored Samsung Galaxy Note20+ will be the only flagship smartphone in 2020 to feature low-power LTPO display technology, adding that the iPhone will follow in 2021.


Young believes LTPO is essential if Apple plans to support ProMotion on the iPhone, as it would allow for a variable refresh as low as 1Hz when the device is inactive to optimize battery life. As with the Apple Watch Series 5, the technology could also pave the way for iPhones to have an always-on display option next year.

Here is how Apple describes LTPO for the Watch:

The low temperature poly-silicon and oxide display features a reinvented pixel architecture that lets the screen refresh rate dip from 60Hz to a power-sipping 1Hz when the watch is inactive. A new low-power driver, ultra-efficient power management, and a new ambient light sensor work together so the display can stay always on with up to 18 hours of battery life.

It is worth noting that the iPad Pro supports ProMotion without LTPO, so perhaps the feature really will launch on the iPhone this year, but it sounds like there is a possibility that Apple will simply wait until 2021.

Related Roundup: iPhone 12
Buyer's Guide: iPhone 12 (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

alpi123 Avatar
11 months ago
I can see how the tech community will go mad if Apple doesn't bring 120Hz display this year... and the rest of the customers wouldn't care about that feature.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LeadingHeat Avatar
11 months ago
I hope they don’t bring the always-on technology to iPhones. If they do, at least offer the toggle to switch that off.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
newyorksole Avatar
11 months ago
Jeez we went from like 2-3 articles in the past week saying “DEFINITELY PROMOTION” to now “not until 2021” and we’re just gonna believe that? Nah it’s time for ProMotion in the iPhone especially with the all-OLED lineup and larger sizes.

iPhone 12 will be remarkable.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
goobot Avatar
11 months ago

Not sure how much I trust this guy's claim that you 'need LTPO for 120Hz', since, as stated in this article, the iPad Pro supports variable refresh rates up to 120Hz without LTPO....

More inclined to believe Jon Prosser's claim that the hardware will support 120 Hz but it may be nerfed in software.
iPad Pro uses lcd and iPhone used oled so comparing the two doesn’t mean anything.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GeoStructural Avatar
11 months ago
I don't care, so far it looks like a very worthy upgrade and I am happy for it. I am a tech enthusiast but 5G nor ProMotion are deciding factors for me right now.



I can see how the tech community will go mad if Apple doesn't bring 120Hz display this year... and the rest of the world wouldn't care about that feature.
I am one of those. I do not care about Pro Motion, I own an iPad Pro and honestly I see no difference with the previous generation I also owned, just more battery consumption.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
69Mustang Avatar
11 months ago

Not sure how much I trust this guy's claim that you 'need LTPO for 120Hz', since, as stated in this article, the iPad Pro supports variable refresh rates up to 120Hz without LTPO....

More inclined to believe Jon Prosser's claim that the hardware will support 120 Hz but it may be nerfed in software.
But the iPhone and iPad are dealing with vastly different battery capacities. You can use the iPad as a basis for an argument in this case. You are right that LTPO isn't needed for 120Hz displays since several phones already have them. I think what he may have meant is LTPO will help maintain or extend battery life of the devices using the tech.

I don't think the claim is entirely inaccurate regarding LTPO and the iPhone specifically because iPhones traditionally have the smallest battery capacity of modern flagships. Also we generally use our phones differently from iPads. I think iPads would spend more time at lower refresh rates than iPhones just based on mobile use cases.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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