Some iPhone 13 models may use a more power efficient backplane necessary for ProMotion

Some iPhone 13 models to be released in 2021 may take advantage of LG-made OLED panels with low-power LPTO backplane technology, resulting in a more power-efficient device.

At least two iPhone models coming in 2021 are believed to adopt LPTO technology that should improve battery life, according to the Korean website The Elec. The same website reported in January 2020 that LG Display was making some changes to its production lines, adding new equipment to produce touch-integrated panels and switch to LTPO backplane technology.

In fact, those power savings might not translate into a longer runtime because Apple could, and most likely will, use them to drive new features, such as a 120Hz ProMotion display that was supposed to come to this year’s iPhones. The same technology is used in the Apple Watch Series 5 and later for its always-on display.

The report notes that supplier LG Display will expand the production rate of its OLED panel factory lines dedicated to Apple.

LG Display is planning to put in low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LPTO) thin-film transistors (TFT) equipment that can add 25,000 substrates per month in monthly production rate into the lines by next year. The LTPO equipment being placed in the factory lines will be for OLED panel supply to ‌iPhone‌ next year, while the ones after May will likely be for panels for iPhones of 2022.

Display analyst Ross Young thinks Apple’s adoption of LTPO technology is a requirement before implementing ProMotion in its smartphone family. ProMotion allows for a variable screen refresh rate, from as low as 1Hz for static content to 24, 30, 60 and all the way up to 120Hz.