Apple’s 2020 iPhones Could Gain this iPad Pro Feature

Ipad Pro 2018 1 Credit: K303 / Shutterstock
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We’ve already heard enough reports about Apple’s longer-term iPhone plans to come to the conclusion that there are some pretty interesting and cool things in store for Apple’s 2020 iPhone lineup.

Now, in addition to going all-in on OLED, dramatically changing up the screen sizes, adding 5G support, and a new 3D laser camera system, it looks like next year’s iPhones may also gain the much faster and more responsive screens previously found only on Apple’s higher-end iPad Pros.

According to a tweet found by MacRumors, Apple could be planning a switch to 120Hz “ProMotion” displays that would provide for a much smoother on-screen experience.

The leaker, @UniverseIce, isn’t well-known in the Apple blogosphere, but apparently does have a solid track record when it comes to Samsung rumours, and of course Samsung is a key supplier for Apple’s OLED panels for its iPhone X series phones — so much so in fact that Apple has made a huge commitment to the company for OLED display orders.

An Entirely New Screen

What’s particularly interesting here is that this would be a new innovation — combining an OLED screen with the much faster refresh rate and merging the best of both technologies. Apple has proudly touted the “ProMotion” display on its latest iPad Pro lineup, but these devices still only use LCD technology.

The feature as it’s presently implemented on the iPad Pro actually involves a variable refresh rate, allowing It to dynamically adjust the display to the movement of content to create smoother scrolling and motion as well as a more responsive feel to the display. Apple notes that this also improves battery life, as the higher refresh rate is only used when strictly necessary.

The tweet by Ice Universe identified the new iPhone display as a “switchable 60Hz/120Hz refresh rate screen” suggesting that it would implement a similar variable refresh rate technology.

Apple Pencil Support?

Another interesting point is that this could herald the arrival of Apple Pencil support for the iPhone — something that Apple has been rumoured to be working on for a couple of years now.

One of the key benefits to Apple’s ProMotion displays is how they reduce latency when using the Apple Pencil, resulting in a smoother and more responsive feel. While a faster refresh rate isn’t strictly necessary to support the Apple Pencil — it also works with the standard 2018 9.7-inch iPad, which has a fairly basic LCD display — it’s fair to say that Apple would want to put its best foot forward if it were going to add Apple Pencil support to its flagship iPhone models.

The leaker also notably mentions that Apple is talking to not only Samsung, but also LG regarding the new display technology. While Samsung is currently Apple’s sole provider for OLED screens for the iPhone X, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max, this corroborates another recent report from analysts at Barclays that LG may be coming on board as a secondary supplier of OLED screens for this year’s iPhone lineup as part of Apple’s usual efforts to diversify its supply chain as well as ramp up for a stronger push into OLED screens starting next year.

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