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iPhone 13 Pro models said to have 15-20% less power consumption even with 120Hz displays

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Despite rocking 120HZ displays, the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max should consume 15-20 percent less power than the iPhone 12 Pro, according to a new report.

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The Pro models will use low-power LTPO technology. LTPO uses a power-efficient backplane. Samsung and LG to supply LTPO panels to Apple.

2021 is the year the iPhone goes ProMotion

Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes corroborates earlier reports calling for a 120Hz iPhone.

Samsung Display and LG Display, now offering LTPS OLED displays for iPhones, are proceeding with capacity conversion to LTPO ones at their Apple-dedicated 6G OLED lines, with the conversion likely to be completed in the first half of 2021, the sources said, adding that production capacity will drop due to the added oxide step when LTPS is converted to LTPO.

The report states that the Pro models will consume 15-20 percent less battery power even with their 120Hz displays in use. Although not strictly mentioned in the DigiTimes report, that's almost certainly a result of switching to LTPO display technology and Apple's upcoming A15 chip which should consume less power than the current A14 processor.

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All iPhone models to date refresh their screens sixty times per second. Doubling the refresh rate would bring smoother motion when navigating the iOS user interface, scrolling, playing games, watching high-frame-rate video and so forth.

Analysts and supply chain sources have been saying for months now that the next iPhone would adopt Apple's ProMotion display technology to double their screen refresh rate. The technology first debuted on Apple's 2018 iPad Pro tablet lineup.

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Drawing twice the images requires a faster GPU and memory, boosting power consumption. Apple is said to address that problem by switching to low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) display technology that relies on a much more power-efficient backplane.

LTPO technology could also enable Apple to bring an always-on display to the next iPhone. Apple already uses LTPO technology in the Apple Watch Series 5 and Series 6.

Apple may need to compensate Samsung for unfulfilled iPhone OLED orders—again!

Apple could be on the hook for missing contractual purchasing obligations concerning OLED panels for iPhones due to lower-than-expected sales of the iPhone 12 mini.

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Apple couldn’t fulfill previously-contracted OLED orders. This is blamed on sluggish iPhone 12 mini sales. Another proof that folks want larger phones.

Apple could pay a penalty to Samsung

A report from The Korea Herald hints that Apple may be unable to fulfill its previously agreed-upon purchasing order volume for Samsung-built OLED panels. The report suggests that no middle ground could be found between Apple and its chief OLED supplier, suggesting the iPhone maker would need to compensate Samsung's display-making arm.

Samsung Display’s worldwide small OLED shipments in January dropped nine percent month-to-month to 45 million units, according to market researcher Omdia, which added that the decline is apparently prompted by sluggish sales of Apple’s iPhone 12 mini.

Recent reports claim Apple slashed its planned iPhone production targets for the first half of 2021 by twenty percent, with poor iPhone 12 mini responsible for the majority of the cuts.

Industry observers are now predicting that Apple may once again have to pay Samsung a hefty penalty for not meeting the minimum order quantity.

Samsung Display is the sole supplier of 5.4-inch OLED panels for the iPhone 12 mini.

Apple has ordered a certain number of 5.4-inch OLED panels for the iPhone 12 mini. It's no secret that the iPhone 12 mini hasn't met Apple's internal expectations in terms of sales, thereby prompting the company to order fewer OLED panels for the device from Samsung.

And as a result of that, Apple may now need to compensate its rival.

It wouldn't be the first time

This is hardly the first time the Cupertino tech giant has been punished financially for missing its previously-established component purchase targets.

Back in 2019, Samsung was paid a cool $638 million by Apple to compensate the Galaxy maker for lower-than-contracted orders for the iPhone's OLED panels. The following year, the Cupertino firm reportedly paid Samsung Display a whopping $950 million for failing to meet its OLED panel purchase targets. As Apple is a just-in-time operation, it's crucial that its leadership correctly estimates demand in order to avoid being punished by its suppliers like that.

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OLED panels are notoriously difficult and expensive to produce in mass quantity. That's why OLED panel suppliers, of which Samsung Display is definitely the leader, define strict purchase order guarantees in their multi-year agreements with clients like Apple. It's no surprise that those agreements typically include clauses covering penalties for any unfulfilled orders.