Apple is finished playing catch up – iPhone 14 set for insane display upgrade

Apple's iPhones have languished at 60Hz for long enough

iPhone 12
(Image credit: Apple)

When it comes to the rivalry between Android and iPhone users, Apple has been letting the side down big time, with even its newest iPhone 12 Pro sporting a 60Hz display when 120hz is fast becoming the norm; but a new patent suggests it's catching up and then some, with a 240Hz display in the works that could debut in the iPhone 14.

With the likes of the variable 120Hz refresh of the Samsung Galaxy S21, and the budget OnePlus Nord hitting 90Hz, Apple is long overdue an upgrade for its iPhone screens. While the iPhone 13 is reportedly going to be the first iPhone to launch with a 120Hz refresh date, Apple isn't stopping there.

PatentlyApple spied the patent for an Apple display that can up the ante from its native refresh rate (be that 60Hz or 120Hz) to double, triple, or even quadruple that in high refresh rate mode, meaning 240Hz might not even be limit.         

There is a caveat though; iPhone 14 users will have to choose between a high refresh rate or a better quality image, in much the same way that gamers can switch between performance and high fidelity modes, opting for a smoother experience, or a better-looking picture quality. 

It'll no doubt place a huge drain on the battery as well, so we imagine the iPhone 14 will either automatically fluctuate between refresh rates depending on the content being consumed, or users will need to remember to do so manually, so their iPhone doesn't turn into a useless brick when it's simply scrolling through Twitter.

There are few phones out there right now hitting 240Hz, and those that manage it are displays that run at a native 120Hz. The highest refresh rate on a smartphone is 144Hz, which you can find in the Asus ROG Phone 3 – one of our picks for the best gaming phones.  

Of course, Apple's patent wouldn't necessarily be limited to just a new iPhone; the iPad Pro is already touting a 120Hz display, so we could see the new panels roll out across a range of Apple devices. It's unlikely that we'll see the 240Hz capable display debut with the iPhone 13, so all eyes are on the iPhone 14 for this one.