Samsung reportedly starts production of 120Hz screens for iPhone 13 ahead of schedule

Apple suppliers Samsung and LG Display have reportedly kicked off production of OLED panels for the upcoming iPhone 13 family, with Samsung focused on the 120Hz ProMotion screens.


  • Only the Pro models of the iPhone 13 should have 120Hz displays.
  • Samsung Display is building 120Hz screens for these Pro models.
  • The non-Pro iPhone 13 models should have 60Hz screens.

Samsung is building 120Hz ProMotion screens for Apple

With the iPhone 13 rumored to feature twice the screen refresh rate, a new report alleges Samsung’s now kicked off 120Hz OLED panel production ahead of Apple’s upcoming handsets.

According to a report by The Korean site The Elec, Samsung Display has now commenced mass production of low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) thin-film transistor (TFT) OLED panels to be used in some of the models in the upcoming iPhone 13 family.

Samsung Display is planning to manufacture eighty million units of OLED panels for the new iPhone. LG Display will be making tihrty million units.

The Samsung-built OLEDs will apparently be utilized for the more expensive Pro-branded models, the tentatively named iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max. LPTO technology is expected to power Apple’s ProMotion feature that enables higher screen refresh rates.

Meanwhile, the two non-Pro models (iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini) will continue to use low-temperature polycrystalline silicon (LTPS) TFT OLED panels like the current models. OLEDs for the non-Pro models are being supplied to Apple by LG Display, the report has it.

The iPhone 12 shouldn’t be delayed

The iPhone 12 models missed Apple’s usual September timeframe for iPhone launches, arriving instead in late November as Asian suppliers suffered a major disruption in component production due to the pandemic.

Thankfully, we saw encouraging signs indicating that the iPhone 13 doesn’t sound like it’ll be delayed like the iPhone 12 models. For starters, the timing of the iPhone 13 screen production is one month earlier than the iPhone 12 production schedule.

Samsung Display began production for the OLED panels to be used in iPhone 13 mid-month. LG Display began production recently, people with direct knowledge of the matter said. Samsung began organic material deposition a week earlier than LG. For the module process, where the panel is finished, Samsung’s started around ten days earlier than LG.

Also, semiconductor supplier TSMC began producing another crucial component for the iPhone 13, the Apple A15 chip, ahead of schedule, DigiTimes recently reported.

Appleā€™s ProMotion technology in a nutshell

ProMotion is a display technique that enables variable screen refresh rates up to 120Hz.

This technology debuted in the iPad Pro a few years back and has remained an exclusive domain of that table family. With the upcoming iPhone 13 update, however, ProMotion should finally make a leap onto the Apple smartphone.

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The iPhone models have been limited so far to 60Hz display, meaning that onscreen content is redrawn 60 times/second. Bringing ProMotion to the iPhone would result in perks like smoother animations, faster and more responsive scrolling, a better movie-watching experience and smoother high-frame-rate videos, to mention but a few.