Apple Watch is usually a kind of testing ground for Apple in some respects. Being a smaller device the company can experiment «on a small scale» with new technologies. It’s what happened for example with the pressure on the screen and the OLED panel, two technologies that then reached the iPhone. The next thing we see is LTPO technology that allows the Apple Watch screen to save a lot more power than a regular, ordinary OLED panel.
According to a report from The Elec, Apple plans to adopt low-power, low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) technology from Apple Watch to iPhone. No dates have been given, although they indicate that it could be short-term. apparently, it will all depend on how the conditions are negotiated with Samsung Display, which is the main manufacturer of the iPhone’s OLED panels. It’s no use Apple wanting to adapt a new technology if there’s no one who can make it.
Unfortunately, the report does not go into specific details about when this technology could be adopted. The company may have been working on it for quite some time and we’ll see it on the next generation of the iPhone in 2020 for example. But it may also be that it is still years away or that it is not adopted directly. At the end of the day, there’s hardly any information about it.
What an OLED LTPO panel provides
The OLED LTPO panel is the one found on Apple Watch Series 4 and Apple Watch Series 5. In it the back layer turns the pixels on and off individually on the screen. While OLED panels generally allow you to turn off pixels individually, with an LTPO OLED panel you can save up to 15% more power compared to an OLED LTPS panel, which is the one that iPhones currently have. Why? Because it reduces the refresh rate from 60 Hz to 1 HZ when the clock is idle.
The adoption of LTPO technology has made it possible for Apple to significantly increase the clock’s battery life without adding much more battery capacity. In fact, Apple indicated that it’s the one that made it possible for Apple Watch Series 5’s «always on screen» technology to be implemented.