When you think about HTC, you usually think about things like those old PDAs that everyone just had to have, or better yet you think about things that happened more recently like last years HTC One flagship device. You might even think about the latest and greatest from HTC, The All New One, which was outed in a 12 minute video from yesterday by some teenage kid with parents who "used" to work at HTC. That is until his video went viral which clearly seemed to be violating a confidentiality agreement, with things spiraling downward from there. What you don't think about when you here the name HTC is how they can help Apple make their next product.
According to The Wall Street Journal, some of HTC's engineers had been approached by Apple in hopes to get them hired on and start helping to give Apple's growth in the Asian markets a lift. It would seem that Apple understands that they haven't covered as much ground in the Asian markets as they'd hoped, which is why they began hiring engineers from within those Asian markets, many of which were from HTC, so they could help with things like product development and chain logistics. Apple's main goal seems to boost their strength in the Chinese market most of all, and maybe just maybe, there's a little bit of acknowledgement on Apples end that HTC has been doing great things lately with their product design. The One is a beautiful phone, so no matter how elite Apple believes it's product is compared to Android, they seem to at least understand that they are not the only ones that can make an elegant looking device.
There's no telling what HTC engineers were offered to hop on board with Apple's future iPhone endeavors, but it seems that Apple directly approached said HTC engineers to sway them so whatever it was must have been compelling enough to get them to switch teams. It will be interesting going forward to see how these former HTC employees help Apple possibly redesign something that has looked so similar for so long. There is of course no telling if that will happen, but hiring on a new set of eyes from a different company could certainly prove to do such things.