Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro models will be faster, curvier and more expensive. The price hike is likely to push more buyers to the standard iPhone 15 models, but they’re in for a shock.
According to a new leak from (historically reliable) insider yeux1122, Apple will break with industry trends and make its ProMotion 120Hz displays, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max exclusive once again. This would be the third consecutive year that Apple has limited high refresh rate (HRR) panels to its most expensive iPhones, and it’s increasingly unfair.
The value of a high refresh rate screen is that by refreshing up to twice as often as a standard 60Hz panel, animations become smoother, resulting in a smoother experience. Touch input is also recognized faster, making taps and swipes more responsive.
Plus, high refresh rates have quickly gone mainstream, with Samsung’s $299 Galaxy M33 and RealMe’s $199 Narzo 50 bringing even 120Hz displays to the budget sector. So why does Apple continue to limit its 120Hz ‘ProMotion’ displays to $1,000 iPhones? It boils down to two factors: implementation and marketing.
In terms of implementation, Apple only uses LTPO panels for ProMotion. This is because operating at 120 Hz quickly reduces battery life on standard screens, which cheaper 120 Hz phones use. LTPO panels, on the other hand, offer a variable refresh rate, which can drop to as little as 1 Hz when the screen is static, to reduce battery consumption.
Does this mean that all cheap 120Hz phones have terrible battery life? No. Some will just fit larger batteries, but Apple prefers the premium implementation. Apple also only offers its always-on display on iPhones with LTPO panels, so iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus models appear to be missing this basic feature for another year.
As for marketing, it’s a problem Apple created itself. Currently, ProMotion is only used for Pro branded products: Macbook Pro, iPad Pro, and iPhone Pro. So anything short of a ProMotion rebrand is likely to just confuse buyers and confuse the company’s carefully defined product lines. I suspect Apple understands this issue, as it hasn’t labeled any technology as “Pro-” since ProMotion first launched in 2017.
Nothing helps iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus buyers, who just want the high refresh rates they see on competing phones, at much lower prices. We now know that won’t change for at least another year, though the introduction of an updated design, a locked version of USB-C and some crazy new colors will provide some consolation.
On the other hand, if you want to pay for everything the iPhone 15 Pro models offer, you’ll have to pay more – a lot more.
More about Forbes