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iPhone 12 Will Leapfrog Pixel 4 with 120Hz Display (Report)

iPhone 11 Pro vs iPhone X
(Image credit: Future)

Apple's iPhone 12 could have a big feature boost when it hits store shelves next year, according to a new report.

The next iPhone will feature the ProMotion displays Apple started bringing to its iPad Pro lineup in 2017, Digitimes is reporting, citing supply chain sources. According to the report, the screens will feature OLED technology (unlike the iPads, which have LCDs), while doubling their refresh rates from 60Hz to 120Hz.

At first blush, that might not seem like much. But with a faster refresh rate, the iPhone's screen can respond more quickly to touch gestures, reducing the lag between when you interact with the screen and when software understands your gesture and responds accordingly. This would also put the iPhone 12 ahead of the Pixel 4, which Google is touting for its 90Hz refresh rate.

If ProMotion comes to the iPhone 12, the software experience could be far more appealing. For instance, there will be less jitter when you scroll through pages or a more fluid experience when you zoom in or out on screens.

But it's not just the software experience. Because the iPhone 12 would have a faster refresh rate, it would also be able to work with 24fps, 48fps, and 60fps video. The current iPhone barely works with 24fps because its refresh rate is too slow and can sometimes have trouble with video lag. An iPhone with a 120Hz refresh rate would be able to overcome all of those problems.

But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, it's important to remember that Digitimes doesn't always have the best track record of predicting Apple's next moves. And while it's possible that the 120Hz display is indeed coming to the iPhone next year, it's an expensive component that Apple has kept solely to iPad Pros (at least so far). It's entirely possible, in other words, that the company opts to keep the 120Hz panel with iPads.

It's perhaps also possible that Apple follows Google's latest Pixel 4 and other Android phones and offers a 90Hz refresh rate in the iPhone 12. It wouldn't be as costly to bring to the iPhone 12, but would still be a sizable upgrade over the existing technology.

Ultimately, we have plenty of time between now and next September, when the new iPhones will likely be unveiled. And until then, we can expect plenty of talk about Apple's plans with the iPhone 12's screen. For now, then, take the Digitimes report with the proverbial grain of salt.