iPhone 16 leak suggests the Apple flagship will be stuck with an outdated display

The iPhone 15 being held in a hand
The iPhone 15, with its 60Hz display (Image credit: Future)

If you were hoping that the iPhone 16 would make the leap to a 120Hz refresh rate display – pretty much standard now on flagship handsets – you may have to temper your expectations ahead of the phone's 2024 launch.

According to a post on South Korean platform Naver, backed up by tipster @Tech_Reve, the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus are going to stick with the same 60Hz refresh rate as the iPhone 15 and the iPhone 15 Plus.

Considering that the Samsung Galaxy S23, the Google Pixel 8, and even the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max all hit 120Hz – as indeed do plenty of other phones – Apple would remain stuck in the past with one half of its premium phone series.

A faster refresh rate – which means the screen is updated more times per second – means a more fluid user experience whenever anything is moving on screen. There is a battery life trade-off, but several phones (including the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max) are able to mitigate this by dynamically ramping up the refresh rate only when it's needed.

Same old story

We've been here before: earlier this year we were disappointed when rumors began swirling that the iPhone 15 would only have a 60Hz refresh rate for its display. While it didn't affect the verdict of our iPhone 15 review too much, it does make the iPhone 15 something of an outlier in terms of premium handsets.

In fact, it was something of a surprise that the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus didn't bump the refresh rate up to at least 90Hz. Apple introduced 120Hz tech, which it calls ProMotion, with the iPhone 13 Pro models in 2021.

Admittedly, that higher refresh rate does also bump up the price, because it needs an LTPO Low-Temperature Polycrystalline Oxide) OLED display for the necessary trickery. It's also possible that users ultimately don't care as much as we do about this spec.

We'll have to wait and see what Apple decides for the iPhone 16. Previously, industry analyst Ross Young has predicted that Apple won't introduce a 120Hz to the standard iPhone until 2025 and the iPhone 17.

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David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.