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Apple's hiring binge could point to more iPhone development

The tech giant increases its engineering staff by the hundreds in China, which is said to boost product development and production.

Apple's iPhone 5S. Josh Lowensohn/CNET

With a massive hiring binge in China and Taiwan, it looks like Apple is working to boost product production.

The tech giant has reportedly poached engineers from smartphone maker HTC and other companies to create new Apple teams in Shanghai and Taipei, according to The Wall Street Journal. It's said that the company now has more than 600 engineers and operations staff in China.

The Journal reports that the hiring push is due to Apple's focus on developing components for the iPhone and iPad, which could lead to more product releases more often.

"Apple is building an engineering team in Taipei to drive new iPhone product development," Apple said in a LinkedIn recruiting e-mail, according to the Journal.

In September, Apple introduced two new versions of the iPhone for the first time ever, including the less-expensive but more colorful iPhone 5C. Apple also rolled out the new iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina Display the following month.

The iPhone has proven to be a popular product in China. Last month, research firm IDC reported that Apple's iPhone 5S broke sales records in the country as market share rose from 6 percent in the third quarter of 2013 to 7 percent in the fourth quarter. These numbers are sure to increase since Apple recently inked a deal to sell the iPhone through China Mobile -- the world's biggest wireless carrier.

CNET contacted Apple for comment. We'll update the story when we get more information.