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2018 Smartphone Rumor Roundup: Everything we know about the Pixel 3 and iPhone XI

Summer is for rumors

It’s that time of year again: the days are growing longer, there’s live music outside every weekend, and the perennial summer topic is starting to buzz between the tech-enthused: just what is going to be in the next phones?

iPhone render 2020
Maybe one day, you'll get this weird monster of a phone.  But not this year.

We know when this frantic speculation starts, because it coincides with another summertime trend: people stop buying phones, and thus, they don’t buy phone cases as much.  Phone cases are our bread and butter, so while there are plenty of all-season products we offer (can I interest you in a gorgeous Vessel, a minimalistic Card Wallet or a portable Studio Case?), we get some time in the summer to regroup, strategize, get ready for an absolutely bonkers fall/holiday season, and keep our ear to the ground on phone rumors so we know what to prepare for.

Here’s what the last third of our year looks like, according to the soothsayers of the tech world: new iPhones in September and new Pixels in October, with a new Samsung model possibly thrown in there for good measure.  This is roughly in line with the usual release schedule of the past couple years, and it’s spaced out enough that we should be able to take on each new release, and the wave of orders it brings, before moving onto the next.  But what can we expect from the phones themselves?

iPhone XI, iPhone XI Plus, and iPhone XC?

In one of my first blog posts for KerfCase last year, I broke down the main sources of iPhone rumors and who is the most trustworthy.  Sitting pretty at the top of the pyramid is Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International Securities, who leverages a well-established network of sources in Apple’s supply chain to deliver extremely prescient predictions on new Apple products.  Kuo recently released a report confirming earlier work of his that we can expect 3 new phones in September:

iPhone XI iPhone XI Plus iPhone XC
In all their glory.  But how the heck do you tell them apart?


The first, which I’ll call the iPhone XI (we’ll get to names in a second), is expected to share a form factor with the current iPhone X.  Same dimensions, same stainless steel frame, same OLED Super-Retina Display, and yes, same notch. This is good news, because if you already own the best wood iPhone X case on the market, you can fit the newest phone in your old case no problem.

The second, which we’re really excited for, is tentatively being called the iPhone X Plus, and it’s exactly what it sounds like: a super-sized iPhone X.  The iPhone X famously crammed a Plus sized screen into a smaller enclosure, so this new phone, with its ultra-size edge-to-edge display, will sport the largest iPhone display ever at 6.5 inches!

The third will be a lower-priced option that sits between the other two in size with a 6.1” display.  This phone will have an X-like form factor, but the big differences will be in quality of components: aluminum instead of stainless steel and an LED screen instead of OLED.  Similar in terms of components to the current iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, which are no slouch!  For now, I'm gonna call this one the iPhone XC, harkening back to the 5c, the last time Apple released a phone with different materials from its flagship lineup.

iPhone 5c

Otherwise known as the only iPhone in the past 5 years that we didn't make a case for!

What this means is two of the things we’ve come to identify with iPhones are going away: the Home Button and Touch ID.  While Face ID seems to do a decent job, I’ll miss that instantaneous fingerprint recognition!

Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL

pixel 3 pixel 3 xl render
One person's guess for the look of the Pixel 3.  iPhone-like notch on the front, same Pixel back.

On the Android side, the rumor mill is ramping up in earnest for the latest hardware from Google as well!  Our friends at CNET have been diligently rounding up the rumors, and it seems like Pixel fans are in for quite an upgrade this year.

With Google further incorporating HTC into their operations, they should have more control over the production process, which resulted in some weird blue-tinted screens on the Pixel 2 XL and other issues.  It’s easy to forget that Google’s been in this business for such a short time; it seems like they get better at making phones with every crack.

While the back of the phone is expected to stay the same (plus adding now-standard wireless charging!), the Pixel 3 line is rumored to sport edge-to-edge screens, complete with iPhone X-style notch!  This is great news for everyone who likes to maximize screen real estate, but it makes me wonder where they’re going to stick the front-facing speaker and microphone (as a case maker, not having to cut speaker holes was a dream!)

Getting ready for launch

Now that we have an idea of what’s coming, all that’s left to do is wait until we get an announcement!  If you’re planning on picking up a shiny new iPhone or Pixel this fall, remember to come to KerfCase to see our full range of species available for all new form factors.  We can’t wait to wait in line with everyone else and see what smartphones in 2018 can do!

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We take pride in offering the best customer service possible. Our customers consistently say we have the best wood iPhone cases on the market. Take a look at what some of them have to say. You can read more verified customer reviews on our Google Reviews

"You guys did a fantastic job on this case! I will pass along to my high-end phone case friends. Keep up the good work, thanks for the prompt delivery. You guys rock!" -Steve

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"I love this case. What separates Kerf cases from everything else on the market is the quality of the product. When you handle it, you feel like you're holding something special." -Brian

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"The character of the wood is stunning. It's not like any other wood I've ever seen. Each case is a one-of-a-kind, but this one is uniquely impressive in its beauty. So happy with this case! Thanks to Ben for the outstanding customer service with the speedy shipping and detailed emails. I'm a customer for life." -Lori

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"This spalted black walnut iPhone 6+ case was beyond my expectations. And the expectations were high … this product does not disappoint as the craftsmanship is five-star." -Steve

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"I'm extremely pleased with it. It's like having a work of art surrounding my phone." -Lori

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"I just received my new case and can not be more impressed and satisfied with this product. The flamed maple is awesome and the fit on the iPhone 7 is perfect!" -Andy

"I really love your products. They make me hate my phone a little less." -Johan

"Thank you for making awesome things. I love it." -Goran

"I received my case today. The fit is perfect and it is gorgeous!" -Tom

"I received my new phone case, and it is beautiful...a work of art!" -Dan

"I've never liked a case before. I've tried some different rubber and plastic cases and always end up taking it off within a couple days. This case, however, I will never take off. This is by far the best looking and best feeling case I've ever owned. Also loved the packaging touch. Keep up the good work, I will definitely be buying more in the future." - Yasir S

"The world could use more good design and less plastic!" - John C

"I just got my new Kerf case, and it’s beautiful! My company logo on the back came out sweet! And, I can charge the phone through the case on a Qi pad, which makes it even better. You all should be proud of your craftsmanship. " - Leroy N

"I received my Kerf Case this afternoon and I am really pleased with it! I love how it envelopes the phone and has a feel that is easy to hold. The buttons work great and I like that the silence button is recessed, it isn’t likely to be bumped. I really appreciate the job you did on the graphic on the back. Thanks for your work on this!"- Nels K

"This is the first time I will be using an iPhone case - ever!
I did my homework - I looked at many manufacturers online (none of them seemed worthy). This is a huge vote of confidence and testament to what I imagine will be amazing craftsmanship."- Matt K

"I just have received your product. I just couldn't be happier. It is much more than what I expected. There are few alternatives in terms of google Pixel phone case but your creation is much much better choice. Thank you for creating such an excellent product." - Y Ito

"In the end, what swung it for was the fact you were a small local business that sourced within your local community. Even though I live in Glasgow, Scotland, this really was important and I liked the fact your company was proud of your area, the resources it has and your product. The choice of woods was also pretty cool and at one point is was very torn between the walnut and the rosewood. I ended up opting for the walnut - very much looking forward to getting it on my new iPhone X." -Derek S

"I just received my iPhone case today and it's stunning, keep up the good work!" - Andrew D

"I really do appreciate the help that you guys have done, i know i was frustrated at first. But i do really appreciate companies that really help out with their products. means a lot from someone like me who has had multiple things sit broken in my room because companies would not help out." - Chris W

"I left my phone on the vinyl roof of my car (let’s not discuss that) and it finally flew off as I drove and landed on a busy street. When I was finally able to locate and retrieve it, it had been run over by a large truck and dragged more than 300 feet under the tire. When the truck turned, the case, phone, and wood separated and I found them about 20 feet from each other. Remarkably, my iPhone is fine! Also remarkably, so is the spalted maple backing! However, the steel frame, having done its job well, is now bent (but not mangled). I don’t know if any other case made out of any other material would have done as good a job." -Ben W

"Just received my Alloy case for iPhone 7 and I’m very impressed with the quality of the case. I will definitely purchase more products from your company and will recommend Kerf Case to family and friends. Thanks for a great product." - Gohar N

"As a woodworker I really appreciate the unique iPhone cases you craft. This is my second case. I bought the new iPhone 7 plus, so I had to order another one as soon as possible. I can't tell you how many comments I have received, with the main comment "that's so cool" and " really that's all wood? Thanks and keep up the good work." - Clarke

"I’m a woodworking hobbyist and was really impressed with your product! I have told several friends about it already and will be sharing links and pictures with them when it comes in! Thanks for making these." -B

"I received my phone case yesterday morning, and after the first 24 hours with it my first impression is wow! The quality of this case is beyond my expectation. It's so smooth and wonderfully sanded, I can smell the wood and that is one of my favorite parts of it. I love the little attention to detail that most wood phone cases don't have, like wood buttons instead of rubber. Being a man in the military I take extreme pleasure in attention to detail and your product definitely delivered. Thank you so much for not disappointing me! Good luck with your company I'll be rooting for you!" Very Respectfully, Petty Officer 3rd Class Dehart, Nathan D.

"I received my case last week and after seeing how amazingly made it was I had to order one for my wife right away. Thank you for making such and outstanding product!" - Daniel

"The spalted maple iPhone SE case I just received is wonderful!! A true work of art and totally functional. Love it! Thanks so much. Will recommend to everyone and when it's new iPhone time for me it will always be Kerf case time." - Eddie

"You just can't replicate that depth of color and texture with man-made materials. It brings my glass rectangle addiction one step back into the natural world, and I'll take that wherever I can get it." - Stephanie

"Thank you for making such an awesome product both durable and stylish. You have helped in every way I've needed and in an expeditious way....something you can't find in an owner of a business these days. I greatly appreciate everything." - Jake G Hampu

"I just wanted to let you know that I received my case today and it is quite possibly most beautiful iPhone case I've ever seen! I did a lot of research on wood phone cases and settled on Kerf Case because of the quality—I was not disappointed. The care that went into crafting and shipping the case is evident and I couldn't be happier with my purchase. Thanks for creating such a wonderful product!"- Kirstin

"Apologies for the delay in replying, but it was somewhat intentional. I wanted to wait until we received our cases yesterday. I am more than impressed with the craftsmanship that you and your staff put towards your products. The cases are beautiful and well worth what we paid for them. Thank you again. I will have no problems referring friends to KERF, who have as much of an appreciation for natural hand crafted products as I do." - Kyle Elias, BScH, DVM 

"They are going to become my holiday gift this season ....for all my people....Great product. Very original." - Christopher Bardasian

"Now that's customer service. Thanks Ben I appreciate the attention to detail you guys have with your business plan. No questions but I will tell you that you've earned my respect with the speed, efficiency and quality products you're providing with your customers." - Mark Wilson

"Just wanted to reach out and thank you again- I got my cases back this week and they are beautifully repaired (or replaced, I can't even tell)! Please give Cat my thanks as well for her craftsmanship. I was already a big Kerf fan and repeat customer but will definitely keep coming back thanks to your outstanding service and support. You guys rock, and your products are beautiful. Thanks so much." - Courtney Sanford

"Thank you for your direct contact. This morning I picked up the case from the German customs office. And let me tell you this case is amazing! Thank you so much, you guys did a great job." - Stefan

"Well beyond expectations. Craftsmanship is as close to perfection as possible. Customer service is impeccable and prices are lower than competitors who make inferior products." - Robert W 

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