The natural evolution of the notch is the punch hole. This can all be explained by the pursuit of all screen smartphones. Well, at least as close as possible to that. Bezels, as we know, is a thing of the past, and we have to get used to smartphones that don't have holes in their screens, only to maximize screen real estate and screens for body ratios. Samsung and Huawei compete directly to become the first manufacturer to announce smartphones with punch holes for cameras on the screen.
However, holes in the screen do not have to be always about the camera. According to the newly proposed ZTE patent, the telephone manufacturer is considering a piece of screen that will be the place for the earpiece. In this way ZTE can remove the upper bezel, and as close as possible to all screen smartphones. The images in the filing of the patent did not reveal a front-facing camera, which could mean that the phone did not have one, or it could be behind the screen, which even more pulled and pushed the envelope.
The usual advice for skepticism needs to be said: just because there is a patent, that doesn't mean we will see commercially available products like this right away, if at all. What that means, though, is that ZTE is considering it.