HTC isn't the leading smartphone company it once was, and in turn, it's lost a few of its loyal followers

The Taiwanese company's latest initiative, however, hopes to bring some of its best customers back. Whereas the original HTC One won the company many fans, and the subsequent phones turned even more of them off, HTC is hoping its latest preview program will improve the company's products before they even reach the market.

Expanding on a similar program from last year that offered users private previews for upcoming software updates, HTC's Preview Program now includes sneak peaks at the company's hardware, too. That, actually, is pretty cool and may just help the troubled company reconnect with customers.

Over on Reddit, HTC USA explains that it has a "long history of firsts" which it lists as the first Android phone, first LTE phone, first 1080p display and the first unibody all-metal design. Adding to its list of firsts is the company opening its Preview Program to everyone.

"Today we invite, the most dedicated members of the Android community, to raise their hands to help contribute with feedback, and suggestions," HTC says on its Reddit thread.

Through the Preview Program, owners can provide feedback on software and hardware before they are widely released, the company adds.

There is a caveat or two to joining the program, however. First, being a part of HTC Preview does not guarantee participants early access to software hardware as HTC says its "goal is to draw all our participants from those registered."

In other words, it looks like the company will pick and choose who gets what they want if they get anything at all. Second, participants who do get chosen for previews must be ready to use what they're given as their daily driver — no keeping of a trusty iPhone on the side as a Plan B. The company also warns that participants to not take part in the program if they're not ready to commit.

The rest of the Reddit thread actually makes for a very good read. Considering it is Reddit after all and HTC USA's reps didn't take themselves too seriously, HTC seems to be in the right direction at getting back in touch with customers.

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