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Smart Phones to Dominate Handset Sales: Qualcomm CEO

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Within five years, half the handsets sold will be smart phones, according to industry projections, and emerging market customers will be a big part of that trend, Paul Jacobs CEO and chairman of computer chip-maker Qualcomm, told CNBC Tuesday.

“Going forward there will be an impact to traditional computing forms as people use the phones as their main computer,” said Jacobs, who rang the opening bell at the Nasdaq on Tuesday.

“But this is especially true in emerging markets, because, there, people just don’t have a computer, and a phone is going to be the only computer they will ever have.”

In the last three months, technology giant Qualcomm has been riding a smart phone wave to the tune of a 24 percent stock rally. The company manufactures chipsets, which are integral to smart phones, and licenses technology.

Jacobs said his company continues to create innovations, including a function called augmented reality, in which a smart phone can, for instance, record an image of a street sign in a foreign city and then translate the words into English and superimpose the translation on the image.

Jacobs also is a proponent of encouraging broadcasters through the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)to share the spectrum with the wireless industry, which would help consumers get better service and meet the increasing demand for wireless services on laptops and smart phones.

“The FCCcame out with a plan to get 500 megahertz for the next 10 years,” Jacobs added.

“They (the FCC) are starting to look at things called incentive auctions to try and get broadcasters to agree to move off of the spectrum and take a little bit of the money that gets generated by that to pay them off, but also some of it goes to the Treasury. So it’s a win-win for the Treasury, for broadcasters and clearly a win for consumers, who want to get more data down to their devices.”