Apple to include 120Hz ProMotion on all iPhone 17 models

By Sanjeev 3 Min Read

Apple brought its ProMotion display technology to its phones, starting with the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max. A couple of generations later, the 120Hz refresh rate is still exclusive to the Pro models. And it will be another year before the regular iPhone models can finally enjoy it.

Difference between LTPO and LTPS AMOLED

Currently, Apple uses two types of OLED screens for the non-SE iPhones.

The Pro and Pro Max models get the premium LTPO (Low-Temperature Polycrystalline Oxide) treatment. These panels offer granular control over the current, enabling the 1-120Hz variable “ProMotion” technologies.

The LTPS (Low-Temperature Polycrystalline Silicon,) on the other hand, are void of this variable refresh rate capability. You can technically have 120Hz LTPS screens, as seen in many budget and midrange Android phones. 

But the refresh rate is not dynamic — you will be stuck with a few (in most cases, just two) fixed values.

Apple’s hesitation

Apple, being Apple, refuses to meet in the middle. As a result, even the latest iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus are still 60Hz.

Battery life can be a problem as higher refresh rate screens drain more power, and the two base iPhones have smaller batteries. It is also the reason we don’t see Always-On Displays on these iPhones.

That said, it has more to do with differentiation. With 120Hz ProMotion only available in the Pro iPhones, Apple drives up their sales.

120Hz ProMotion on all iPhone 17 models

But Apple can’t keep getting away with it — the iPhone 17 series next year will have 120Hz ProMotion displays across all the phones.

This will also make Always-On Display possible on the base variants.

This report comes from the Elec, which states that the difference between the iPhone 15 and 16 series is so minimal that Apple is compelled to make the 17  stand out by offering series-wide ProMotion.

The current plan is to use LTPO AMOLED panels from Chinese manufacturer BOE. It has been stated that Apple received the first samples towards the end of last year, and are under test.

Even if BOE’s LTPO fails Apple’s standard, the iPhone 17 series will go all in on the LTPO panel without BOE.

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