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The next iPhone could have an always-on display like rival Android flagships

Apple is rumored to be building its upcoming iPhone 13 with a feature that presents on rival Android flagships and the Apple Watch — an Always-On Display. The new display will come with other minor tweaks to the iPhone 12 according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman in his Power On newsletter.

Always-On Displays are a feature that can be found on many smartphones with AMOLED displays. Typically, they allow the phone to display notifications and other pieces of ambient information like time or weather when sitting unused. They originated with Nokia phones before finding their way to Windows phones and later Android phones with Google’s Ambient Display feature. Apple has incorporated the concept of an Always-On Display only on the Apple Watch so far but has yet to move it to the iPhone line despite the iPhone Pro series being fitted with AMOLED displays.

Close up of a man showing off the Apple Watch Series 6 on his wrist
Apple

“The next iPhones are only about two months away and the company is expecting to make a big splash as economies reopen. Apple has tasked suppliers with building up to 90 million new iPhones for this fall,” Gurman wrote, “That’s a 20% increase over the 75 million units Apple planned for the iPhone 12 in 2020 — despite only readying mostly minor changes. Expect a faster A15 chip, smaller notch, a new display for better battery life and the potential of an Apple Watch-like always-on mode and a 120Hz refresh rate and upgrades to video recording.”

The iPhone 13’s displays are expected to feature some of its biggest updates. Apple is finally adopting a 120Hz display, something that features on the iPad Pros but has yet to come to smartphones. Some Android phones from Samsung already offered up to 120Hz, while the Chinese-brand Xiaomi had gone as far as 144Hz in a small selection of its phones, rivaling top-tier gaming monitors. With the display being the part of the smartphone users interact with the most, Apple’s small improvements here may result in a major improvement in user experience.

The iPhone 13 series is expected to consist of an iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Mini, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max. All four of these phones should be making their debut in the fall as per Apple’s previous patterns.

Michael Allison
A UK-based tech journalist for Digital Trends, helping keep track and make sense of the fast-paced world of tech with a…
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