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In spat with Apple, Qualcomm looks to China for new growth

  • Qualcomm is looking to China for new growth.
  • It may be trying to hedge its bets following legal trouble with Apple.
  • China is already a crowded market for chips.
People walk past Qualcomm's stand during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain February 24, 2016.
Albert Gea | Reuters
People walk past Qualcomm's stand during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain February 24, 2016.

Qualcomm President Derek Aberle is hoping that the entry-level smartphone market in China will help drive growth.

Qualcomm may be seeking new areas to sell its chips as it continues to fight several legal battles with Apple, which has stopped paying Qualcomm royalties. Apple believes Qualcomm is overcharging in chip royalties, while Qualcomm believes Apple's iPhone wouldn't be possible without its technology.

China may help hedge any issues on the horizon, should Apple and Qualcomm's battles turn even more sour.

"China is a very large market for smartphones," Aberle said Friday, according to the Japanese financial news agency Nikkei. "It's actually difficult for any company including Qualcomm to be able to work with and support all of the customers in a market that is that large."

Qualcomm will face local competition. Huawei, for example, builds its own Kirin processors, while MediaTek is a popular brand name in entry-level low-cost smartphones.

CNBC reached out to Qualcomm for comment but a spokesperson was not immediately available.

Read the full article from Nikkei here.