iPhone leak suggests ProMotion displays won't reach all models for two years

iPhone 14
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Industry analyst and notable iPhone leaker Ross Young suggests Apple is going to be holding back its LTPO display technology from several upcoming models for the next two years. 

You probably know LTPO (low-temperature polycrystalline oxide) by its more user-friendly name ProMotion, which was first seen on the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max.

All you need to about ProMotion is that it enables a 120Hz refresh rate for smooth scrolling and can dynamically turn that rate down to 10Hz to save battery life. The feature found its way onto the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, both of which extended the refresh range down to 1Hz. You’ll notice the base models for the two lines don’t support ProMotion. We were hoping things would change with the iPhone 15; although looking at Young’s recent Tweet, that may not be the case.

According to the post, the rumored iPhone 15 and subsequent iPhone 16 will continue to have LTPS (low-temperature polycrystalline oxide) displays, which is the same type of OLED screen present on the iPhone 14. Basically, the screen quality will remain stagnant for base models until 2025 when the base and rumored iPhone 17 launches with ProMotion allowing it to catch up to five-year-old hardware. Additionally, every standard iPhone afterward will have the same tech. 

Display redesign

Aside from the screen, Young’s Tweet does reveal some pretty interesting tidbits. The long-awaited Under Panel Face ID is set to launch on the rumored iPhone 17 Pro complete with a small pin-sized hole for the selfie camera. Recently, Ross Young stated development for Under Panel Face ID hit a roadblock due to some sensor issues and it wouldn’t launch until 2025. Beyond that, the rumored iPhone 19 Pro in 2027 may have an “under panel camera” meaning there will no visible selfie lens.

The iPhone 15 may also be the first standard model to ditch the camera notch, according to Young’s information, instead opting for the Dynamic Island’s pill-like design. All the way in 2027, the base iPhone 19 is slated to have the same Under Panel Face ID tech mentioned earlier with the tiny lens.

Room for improvement

Be mindful that this is all leaked information and should be taken with a grain of salt. Things could always change at the last minute. There's a chance the iPhone 15 will have ProMotion. 

However, assuming Young is correct (given his track record, he probably is), this is really disappointing news. The standard iPhone 14 certainly has a nice screen with decent power behind it, but there’s room for improvement. It’s not very good at running video games. The iPhone 14 display is, as our Senior Mobile Editor Alex Walker-Todd put it, “just too slow; both for relaying user inputs and [tracking] moving threats or goal on-screen”. With the Pro models, it’s a different story, but then you’ll have to spend nearly $1000 on a phone.

Speaking of video games, be sure to check out TechRadar’s list of the best gaming phones for 2023. Spoiler alert: the iPhone 14 Pro Max is on there. 

Cesar Cadenas

Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity.