Patently Apple spotted the Cupertino patent, which was recently published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. It describes displays with high refresh rate modes, allowing them to operate at two times (120Hz), three times (180Hz), or four times (240Hz) the native refresh rate of 60Hz. It’s also noted that the native refresh rate might be higher than 60Hz.
It could be that rather than selecting a high refresh rate and the device sticking to it, which can affect battery life, Apple could take a leaf from Samsung’s book and offer variable refresh rate displays. The Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G, for example, can reach 120Hz when gaming and switch automatically to 60Hz for video playback. It’s even able to drop as low as 10Hz when a still image is being displayed.
If the iPhone 13 does have a 240Hz screen, it will boast the highest refresh rate of any handset. Only a few smartphones can reach 144Hz right now, including the Asus ROG Phone 3, Lenovo Legion Pro, and ZTE Nubia Play.
While the patent appears to have iPhones in mind, another Apple device to feature a 240Hz refresh rate may be a future iPad Pro. The high-end tablets first received 120Hz variable refresh rate screens back in 2017.