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Apple’s iPhone 12 lineup won’t have high-refresh 120Hz displays, says analyst Ming-Chi Kuo

Apple’s iPhone 12 lineup won’t have high-refresh 120Hz displays, says analyst Ming-Chi Kuo


Another year of 60Hz as more and more Android phones move to high-refresh screens

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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Ming-Chi Kuo has a new research note out, obtained by MacRumors, that says none of Apple’s upcoming iPhone 12 phones will include a high-refresh ProMotion display — and that includes the pricier Pro models. Kuo anticipates that Apple will move to the smoother 120Hz refresh rate with next year’s 2021 iPhone lineup.

That’s pretty disappointing news, seeing as most modern Android flagships now utilize high-refresh screens ranging from 90Hz to 120Hz. But according to the reliable and proven Kuo, Apple is going to keep iPhones at the traditional 60Hz for another entire year. Some people won’t care or consider this to be any sort of deal-breaker, but other tech enthusiasts will feel the sting. The smooth response of high-refresh screens adds to the user experience and can make gaming more enjoyable.

Leaks and rumors in recent months have pointed both ways as to whether Apple would increase the refresh rate of select iPhone 12 models. For a while, the thinking was that at least the 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch “Pro” models might get ProMotion, with the new 5.4-inch size and 6.1-inch standard iPhone 12 sticking with 60Hz. Front Page Tech’s Jon Prosser recently shared screenshots and a video from what he described as a “PVT” prototype of the iPhone 12 Pro Max that included a settings screen with a toggle for “enable high refresh rate.”

In his video, Prosser said “about half” of the iPhone 12 Pro Max PVT prototypes in testing had a high-refresh screen, while others did not. You can see right in the screenshot that Apple has encouraged hardware testers to double check whether their specific PVT model supports the feature. It seems the company was testing for both scenarios and, if Kuo is right, ultimately decided against 120Hz for another year.

As for the rest of Kuo’s report, he also mentions that the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 will have a slightly smaller notch compared to its larger siblings, where the notch will be unchanged in size from the iPhone 11. The Apple Watch Series 6 is expected to closely resemble the company’s previous two smartwatches, with a more significant redesign possible as early as next year.