If there’s one feature that has been glaringly absent from iPhones in recent years, it’s an always-on display. But it’s beginning to look like one might finally be on the way.
In his latest Power On newsletter, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reports that iOS 16 “builds in future support for an always-on lock screen.” Gurman echoes a report from last week about a new display that will “allow the iPhone to turn down the frame rate significantly on the lock screen and display quickly glanceable information—similar to newer Apple Watches.”
Display Supply Chain Consultants CEO Ross Young reported on May 25 that this year he is “expecting” Apple to adopt an LPTO display that lowers the refresh rate all the way down to 1Hz when not in use. That’s even lower than the iPhone 13’s OLED display, which drops to 10Hz.
A lower refresh rate is critical for preserving battery life, as the faster a screen refreshes the less battery it uses. For example, the Apple Watch, which has had an always-on display to show a watch face since the Series 5, can lower its refresh rate from 60Hz to 1Hz to conserve battery life when the always-on display is visible.
Gurman says the feature will be “exclusive” to Apple’s flagship iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.
A standard feature on Android phones, an always-on display would allow the iPhone to show basic stats such as the time, date, and notifications when the screen is off. It traditionally shows white text against an all-black screen, though some implementations use color. Apple has been rumored to be experimenting with an always-on display for years but has yet to implement the technology on any device other than the Apple Watch.
The new iPhones are expected to launch this September. You can keep up with the latest rumors with our iPhone 14 superguide, or pick up a bargain on the current range with our roundup of the best iPhone deals.