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iPhone 14 Pro might finally have an always-on display

Published May 24th, 2022 12:08PM EDT
iPhone 13 Pro Main
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

After years of rumors that the iPhone would get a 120Hz ProMotion display, it finally became a reality last year. But as with most new technologies or features Apple introduces, the 120Hz ProMotion display was exclusive to the iPhone 13 Pro line. Looking ahead, 120Hz ProMotion display technology will likely remain exclusive to the iPhone 14 Pro. However, a new rumor suggests that the type of technology underlying the 120Hz ProMotion display may see something of an upgrade.

As a quick aside, a 120Hz ProMotion display allows for more fluid scrolling, better responsiveness, and improved motion content. Further, and in an effort to preserve battery life, Apple’s implementation features a variable refresh rate such that the refresh rate dynamically adapts to the use-case scenario.

iPhone 14 to feature more advanced display technology

Whereas the ProMotion display on the iPhone 13 Pro fluctuated between 10Hz and 120Hz, display analyst Ross Young anticipates that the refresh rate on iPhone 14 Pro displays will fluctuate between 1Hz and 120Hz. With the larger refresh rate range, Apple can help preserve battery life on the iPhone and potentially introduce an always-on display.

Always-On display

If an iPhone with an always-on display sounds familiar, it’s because we saw a similar rumor spring up last year. Ahead of the iPhone 13 release, several credible sources claimed that the iPhone 13 would boast an always-on display similar to the Apple Watch.

At the time, it was said that Apple’s implementation of an Always-On display would be bare bones. Specifically, the entire display wouldn’t be visible at all times. Rather, the display would only show the time, incoming notifications, and battery life percentage.

Touching on this, leaker Max Weinbach said the following last year:

Always-On Display will have minimal customizability. Current design basically looks like a toned-down lock screen. Clock and battery charge is always visible. Notifications seem to be displayed using a bar and icons. Upon receiving, the notification will pop up normally except that the screen will not entirely light up. Instead, it will display it just like you’re used to right now, except dimmed down and only temporarily.

While an Always-On display isn’t necessarily a game-changer, it would still be a welcome addition to the iPhone 14 feature set. Naturally, Apple would only add this feature if it had no discernible impact on battery life.

iPhone 14 may feature a brand new design

And speaking of the iPhone 14, it’s worth noting that Apple’s next-gen iPhone may feature a slightly tweaked design. On the iPhone 14 Pro models, a hole punch and pill design cutout will replace the notch.

A mockup of what this might look like is below:

iPhone 14 Pro new notch design concept
iPhone 14 Pro new notch design concept: Phone’s front and back. Image source: the Hacker 34 / YouTube

Eventually, Apple may try and embed all of the iPhone’s sensors underneath the display, thus paving the way for a truly edge-to-edge design.

Other rumored iPhone 14 features include faster charging, vastly improved camera technology, more RAM on the Pro models, Wi-Fi 6E support, and an A16 processor. Notably, the entry-level iPhone 14 models may ship with last year’s A15 Bionic.


More iPhone 14 coverage: Read our ultimate guide on the iPhone 14 here

Yoni Heisler Contributor

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 15 years. A life long Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW. When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.