Qualcomm CEO pins hopes on China, smartbooks

 @ibtimes
on November 17 2009 6:40 AM

Qualcomm, the world's biggest chip maker, said on Tuesday that it expects to sell its TD-SCDMA chips in mainland China within the next year.

Qualcomm believes that it will eventually control much of the Chinese market for such semiconductors, Chief Executive Paul Jacobs told reporters during a media event in Hong Kong.

Qualcomm is the world's biggest designer of chips used to power cellphones, relying on its patents for a widely used technology known as CDMA for profits in an increasingly commoditized industry.

The company, which competes with the likes of Taiwan's Mediatek and VIA Technologies and U.S. firms Texas Instruments and Broadcom, has said that revenue growth next year would be lower than recent years due to aggressive competition in the mobile phone chip market along with slowing handset upgrades.

Jacobs also said that the firm hoped to sell millions of chips worldwide that would be used in a new high-end category of computer-like mobile phones it is calling smartbooks.

Smartbooks would allow the company to diversify into higher value-added chips. Qualcomm recently unveiled a mini-computer based on its Snapdragon application chips to be launched by PC maker Lenovo next year that will connect to the Web over AT&T's cellular network in the United States.

Qualcomm is working with 15 manufacturers on 40 new smartbook designs, said Jacobs. The company has already rolled out one model with HTC, a Taiwanese smartphone maker.

Jacobs argued that demand for the devices would be strong.

It's lighter, (has) longer battery life and it's always on. Does the consumer prefer that or do they want all the applications that run on the PC?

(Reporting by Doug Young; Editing by Don Durfee and Jonathan Hopfner)

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