It could take a YEAR before Apple's iPhone catches up with the OnePlus 7 Pro

Apple wants to bring displays with high refresh rates to its iPhone line-up, but it won't make the cut this year

iPhone 120Hz Refresh Rate OnePlus 7 Pro
(Image credit: Apple / OnePlus)

Apple will fit its 2020 iPhone line-up with displays with a high refresh rate, matching one of the headline features of the OnePlus 7 Pro, which launched back in May 2019. 

According to a prominent tipster, Apple plans to one-up OnePlus by fitting its handsets with a 120Hz panel – compared to the 90Hz variant on the OnePlus 7 Pro. If the latest report is accurate, it means future iPhone models will have the same responsiveness as the iPad Pro series, which also packs a 120Hz refresh rate panel.

"Apple is considering a switchable 60Hz/120Hz refresh rate screen on the iPhone in 2020, and is discussing with Samsung and LG," tweeted @UniverseIce. Apple is widely-expected to phase-out its pressure sensitive display technology, known as 3D Touch, with the next generation of iPhone.

It's possible this decision is being made because the system is not compatible with high-refresh OLED or LCD panels. After all, the iPad Pro has never inherited the technology, which is available on the iPhone and Apple Watch.

Leakster @UniverseIce has a solid track record when it comes to information on as-yet unannounced Samsung smartphones. When it comes to Apple hardware, past information has been less reliable. As such, it's worth taking this latest report with a sizeable pinch of salt.

On the iPad Pro, Apple uses a technology known as ProMotion to dynamically scale refresh rates as needed to maximise both performance and battery life. For example, when playing a Hollywood blockbuster – which are all shot at 24 frames-per-second, except for The Hobbit which made people feel queasy – the tablet will dramatically drop the 120Hz refresh rate to match.

iPad Pro continues to use LCD panels, with Apple yet to implement 120Hz on any of its products with OLED displays. We're still over a month away from the iPhone 11, but that hasn't stopped a steady stream of rumours around its successor.

Early reports suggest the 2020 iPhone line-up will include a depth-sensing camera in the rear-camera system for improved Augmented Reality, bokeh-style blur in video and the like, as well as a smaller notch at the top of the OLED display. All three models will support 5G – making them the first Apple handsets to do so.