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Smartphones, Microsoft Driving Qualcomm Business: CEO

The popularity of smartphones and its partnership with Microsoft have been very good for Qualcomm's chip business, CEO Paul Jacobs said Wednesday.

Diners use an Apple iPad to order food.
Greg Wood | AFP | Getty Images

Jacobs, speaking to CNBC after he met with analysts in New York, said a lot of Qualcomm's growth is driven by the worldwide popularity of smartphones.

He estimates four billion smartphones will be sold between now and 2015, and that means a lot of "traction with our chips, too, going in all sorts of designs."

The tablet market has been dominated by Apple's iPad, but he said Microsoft will be using Qualcomm chips for a new touch-screen tablet.

"Microsoft has a lot of assets they bring to the table," he said. "It’s a full computing environment, the kind we’re all used to. It’s gonna have Office and that kind of capability, those applications, but it’s got this really cool new touch interface, too."

That will allow Microsoft "to compete head to head" with Apple and other tablet makers.

"The kinds of technology that go into a handset these days are amazing," Jacobs added. "That stuff will go into Windows tablets" creating a "new kind of computing environment."