Qualcomm to 'Surf the Wave' of Smartphone Wars: CEO

Thursday, 8 Nov 2012 | 11:12 AM ET

Mobility is the wave of the future, Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street", adding that his company plans to capitalize on the proliferation of smartphones and mobile-enabled tablets.

Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images

"Definitely, computing is changing from something you sit at your desk and do to something you do on the go," Jacobs said. "You want it always on and instantly connected and that plays to our strength."

The wireless chip executive noted that there were over 300 million smartphones sold in the first half of the year — a 45 percent increase. "You look at the knock-on effect to us, we had average selling prices go up 6 percent," he said. "That helps our license business."

(Read More: Qualcomm Revenue Beats as Mobile Chip Demand Soars.)

Qualcomm also tripled shipments of its flagship Snapdragon chip, whose sales helped power the company's revenues up 28 percent in the most recent quarter. Snapdragon is used to power key mobile devices, and tech giant Samsung elps Qualcomm produce the chip.

"We waited a long time for the smartphone wave to hit but we kept ourselves prepared," Jacobs said.

Qualcomm "built all the products the right way, and built the functionality into the chips. When it hit we were ready to surf the wave," Jacobs said, adding that he feels the same way about tablets.

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Qualcomm is also cautiously optimistic about the launch of Windows RT, which is a version of Microsoft Windows that runs on Qualcomm chipsets. "If it takes off, it could be some nice upside for us," Jacobs said.

Weighing in on the looming "fiscal cliff," Jacobs said that Qualcomm will continue to pay dividends even if dividend tax rates go up. (Read More: CEOs to Washington: Get a 'Fiscal Cliff' Deal Done.)

"What we're really hoping for is we get corporate tax reform as part of this fiscal cliff resolution," Jacobs said. If that happens, some of the $17 billion Qualcomm has offshore could "come back home and go to work," he added.

Jacobs said that Qualcomm could use some of that cash for investment and U.S. job creation.

* Correction: An earlier version of this story carried a quote from Jacobs saying Qualcomm held $60 billion offshore.


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