How do you stand out when almost every smartphone on the market has a notch? By having two notches.

The notch, made popular by iPhone X, was designed to make the screen as big as possible while also finding space for the selfie camera, speaker and an array of sensors.

But ZTE seems to think that one notch isn’t enough. It filed a patent application for a phone with two notches in September last year, which was recently published by China's intellectual property office.

ZTE’s patent application, filed in September 2017, was published last week. (Picture: State Intellectual Property Office of the P.R.C.)

Of course, patents don’t always equal products. In this case, it might: A ZTE phone with two notches was spotted on a German design award site.

The phone, named Iceberg, has a notch on the top -- and one on the bottom, too. But it’s hard to say exactly what it’s for. It would be a natural place for the home button or fingerprint sensor (or both), but it seems too small to be either.

The phone’s casing is also notable: It seems to be entirely composed of glass. Most current phones (including the iPhone X) have a metal body between a pane of glass on the front and back, but Iceberg lacks that.

The concept phone, named Iceberg, has a body entirely made of glass. (Picture: iF World Design Guide)

The odd thing is that the phone was seemingly never officially announced -- and given that the page says it’s not scheduled for release until “after 2018” it may not appear for a while.

And even then, it might be longer still. ZTE is facing hard times ahead, after the US government banned American companies from selling it any hardware or software -- a hammer blow for a company that reportedly sources 30% of its components from the US.