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Apple's next iPhone might boast an always-on display

New iPhones might also sport improved ultra-wide cameras.
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max display
Chris Velazco/Engadget
Jon Fingas
Jon Fingas|@jonfingas|February 14, 2021 5:30 PM

Rumors for the 2021 iPhone lineup are quickly gathering steam. According to AppleInsider, well-known leaker Max Weinbach and EverythingApplePro have shared a flurry of next-gen iPhone leaks, including word of an always-on display. Reportedly, the battery-efficient 120Hz LTPO (low-temperature polycrystalline oxide) display will mimic your lock screen and deliver a handful of information without any input, much like what you see on some Android handsets. Only the battery and clock would be consistently visible, but a "bar and icons" would show your notifications. New notifications would pop up, but only momentarily.

Weinbach also echoed analyst rumors of upgraded cameras across the line, including improved ultra-wide cams (with better low-light performance), automatic astrophotography and a Galaxy S21-like portrait video mode. You might also see stronger MagSafe magnets, too. Your wallet add-on shouldn't slide off when you're pulling your iPhone out of your pocket. This won't necessarily lead to the fabled portless iPhone, but it certainly makes a better case for such a move.

The design might not change much this year, Weinbach claimed, other than a grippier matte back on the Pro models. Numerous earlier rumors have the iPhone using a smaller, less intrusive notch for Face ID and the front camera, along with a possible in-display fingerprint reader.

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We'd take these rumors with the proverbial grain of salt. No matter how accurate Weinbach might be, Apple could easily cut or modify features before production starts. The company supposedly dropped 120Hz displays from the iPhone 12 family due to battery life concerns, for example. An always-on display would make sense given advances in technology, though. LTPO is the key to making always-on screens viable in recent Apple Watches, and they've been present for a while in devices like the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. Apple could catch up on always-on features without having to sacrifice much (if any) longevity.

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Apple's next iPhone might boast an always-on display