* First LTE phone in america (Thunderbolt)
* Dual front speakers (BoomSound)
* Low-MP camera (Ultrapixel)
* Unibody aluminum phone (One M7)
* Squeezable edges (U11)
* Glasses-free 3d display (Evo 3d)
HTC has always had really nice hardware on their phones and once in a while they get the software right too. While a lot of these innovations have failed in the market, in the right hands they could all be just what Google (or some other company) needs to get in front of this market.
First LTE phone: I'm not sure I see why this is "innovation" on its own; the LTE specs were known for years before LTE networks rolled out, and I don't think HTC made the low-level components that made it possible anyway (e.g., the filters). Not that it didn't require some new work, but I'm not sure the R&D dept. had to work hard on this one.
Low-MP camera: why is this important and/or innovative?
BoomSound: Is this really innovation? It didn't create much of a trend in the smartphone market, and it used off-the-shelf parts.
I don't know much about the 3d display unfortunately.
I should have been clearer with my comment though, and asked what they have done that have been impactful and clearly required a huge amount of expertise, i.e., things Google might be interested in.
As an example of something that might fit the sort of work I am thinking about is this: https://atap.google.com/soli/
To address what you mentioned:
* First LTE phone means they were ahead on hardware integration, testing, and price to get to market first.
* The Low-MP camera demonstrates that they saw the end of the highest-megapixel wars and the shift towards picture quality being subjective.
* BoomSound has certainly kicked off a trend, The iPhone 7 made a big deal (TV ads, etc) about its much louder dual speakers. Nobody before HTC cared about phone speakers.
Common methods to quote text blocks on HN are to use a > prefix and/or asterisks to italicize the quoted text.
So it's an elegant phone at a price a few hundred dollars cheaper than an iPhone with honestly a very similar feel all around. Unfortunately, though, I don't plan to buy a new version beyond what is currently available if they are vacuumed up by Google.