Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro models will be faster, curvier and more expensive. The price increase is likely to push more buyers to the standard iPhone 15 models, but they are in for a shock.
According to a new leak from (historically reliable) insider yeux1122, Apple will break with industry trends and again make its ProMotion 120Hz displays, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max exclusives.
This would be the third year in succession that Apple has limited high refresh rate (HRR) panels to its most expensive iPhones, and it is increasingly unjustifiable.
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max render based on multiple leaks
The value of a high refresh rate display is that by refreshing up to twice as often as a standard 60Hz panel, animations become smoother, resulting in a more fluid experience. Touch input is also recognized more quickly, making taps and swipes more responsive.
Moreover, high refresh rates have quickly become mainstream, with the likes of Samsung’s $299 Galaxy M33 and RealMe’s $199 Narzo 50 even bringing 120Hz displays to the budget sector. So why is Apple continuing to limit its 120Hz ‘ProMotion’ displays to $1,000 iPhones? It comes down to two factors: implementation and marketing.
In terms of implementation, Apple only uses LTPO panels for ProMotion. This is because operating at 120Hz quickly drains battery life on standard screens, which cheaper 120Hz phones use. In contrast, LTPO panels offer a variable refresh rate, which can drop as low as 1Hz when the screen is static, to reduce battery consumption.
Does this mean all cheap 120Hz phones have terrible battery life? No. Some just fit bigger batteries, but Apple prefers its premium implementation. Apple also only offers its always-on display on iPhones with LTPO panels, so iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus models again look set to miss out on this basic feature for another year.
iPhone 15 in leaked bright pink and blue finishes
As for marketing, it is a problem of Apple’s own making. Currently, ProMotion is only used for Pro-branded products: Macbook Pro, iPad Pro and iPhone Pro
So anything short of rebranding ProMotion will only likely confuse buyers and muddle the company’s carefully delineated product lines. I suspect Apple understands this issue because it hasn’t branded any tech as “Pro-” since ProMotion first launched in 2017.
None of which does anything to help iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus buyers, who just want the high refresh rates they are seeing on rival phones at much cheaper prices.
We now know that won’t change for at least another year, though the introduction of an updated design, a locked-down version of USB-C and some crazy new colors will be some consolation.
On the other hand, if you want to pay for everything iPhone 15 Pro models will offer, you’ll have to pay more — a lot more.