Android devices, demand in China help keep Qualcomm from worrying too much about losing Apple

Oh, yeah, and Windows on Arm. Who could forget that?


No Apple as a modem customer for much longer? Not too much of a problem for Qualcomm, which is now relying more than ever on Android and China, and to some extent, Windows, to make up for the lost revenue.

"Android is a success story for us," Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon told analysts on a conference call on Wednesday. He was speaking following the release [PDF] of Qualy's financial figures for the first quarter of its fiscal 2022, the three months to December 26.

It's perhaps not surprising Android is a success story as that's the OS running on the majority of Qualcomm's system-on-chips. Amon said device makers in China that are adopting Qualcomm's components for use in Android handsets are a growth driver.

For Q1 FY22, the US chip house reported a 60 per cent year-over-year growth in revenue from Snapdragon system-on-chips for Android devices; revenues from handsets alone rose 42 per cent year-on-year to $6bn, we're told. Android-related sales grew thanks to the Chinese New Year, and the next inflection point will be the Christmas shopping season, Amon said.

Chief financial officer Akash Palkhiwala identified Android as a $10bn serviceable available market, and highlighted demand for Qualcomm's components in China now that Huawei is out of the smartphone chip business. "All of our customers – Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo Honor, they're all picking up share and ... they're going into the high and the premium tier. It gives us a tremendous opportunity to tap into," Palkhiwala said on the call.

Late last year Qualcomm launched its flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 system-on-chip, which has been adopted by major Chinese phone makers.

Qualcomm reported that revenue for the first fiscal quarter was a record $10.7bn, growing 30 per cent year-over-year. The corp banked a profit of $3.4bn, up 38 per cent. Qualcomm also saw strong growth in premium and high-end-tier Android tablets, which points to the convergence of mobile and PC devices, Amon said.

"Notably, we have already doubled the total number of premium-tier Android tablet design wins launch or in the pipeline versus all of fiscal 2021," Amon said.

Qualcomm is slowly getting Apple off its books; the iPhone was a major revenue driver for more than a decade. The Apple iPhone 13 uses Qualcomm's cellular modems, though Cupertino has indicated the next round of iPhones will have Apple's homegrown modems.

At an investor day in November, Qualcomm said it will probably supply only 20 per cent of the modem chips needed for iPhones in 2023, and likely low single digits exiting fiscal 2024 as a result of Apple's switch to its own modem silicon.

Qualcomm forecast revenue for the second quarter of fiscal 2022 to be in the range of $10.2bn to $11bn, higher than Wall Street's expectations of about $9.6bn. Of that, Qualcomm CDMA Technologies revenue is expected to be $8.7bn to $9.3bn. The seasonal decline in Apple revenues will be offset by continued growth in revenues from Android devices, Palkhiwala said.

Qualcomm will face competition from Mediatek, which launched the Dimensity 9000 chip, which like its Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, is an eight-core chip based on the Armv9 architecture. Mediatek's chips are also targeted at premium-tier Android handsets.

"There's plenty of opportunity for us to grow and our competitors to grow," Amon said.

Qualcomm in December also introduced new Arm-compatible chips for Windows on Arm PCs. Amon tempered his expectations on the Windows ecosystem, saying PCs will be more like smartphones, with long battery life and being always-on 5G connectivity.

"Our view is very clear. There's going to be a big portion of the market that is going to transition to an Arm architecture ... we are the best position company to do that for the Windows ecosystem," Amon said.

But there could be unforeseen problems. For one, T-Mobile US is still trying to figure out how to offer international roaming 5G connectivity for laptops.

Qualcomm is also designing PC processors based on blueprints from Nuvia, a startup Qualcomm acquired last year. These chips will start sampling this year, with the first products based on those components shipping in 2023. Nuvia's designs will ultimately go into smartphones and other devices. ®


Other stories you might like

  • Experts: AI should be recognized as inventors in patent law
    Plus: Police release deepfake of murdered teen in cold case, and more

    In-brief Governments around the world should pass intellectual property laws that grant rights to AI systems, two academics at the University of New South Wales in Australia argued.

    Alexandra George, and Toby Walsh, professors of law and AI, respectively, believe failing to recognize machines as inventors could have long-lasting impacts on economies and societies. 

    "If courts and governments decide that AI-made inventions cannot be patented, the implications could be huge," they wrote in a comment article published in Nature. "Funders and businesses would be less incentivized to pursue useful research using AI inventors when a return on their investment could be limited. Society could miss out on the development of worthwhile and life-saving inventions."

    Continue reading
  • Declassified and released: More secret files on US govt's emergency doomsday powers
    Nuke incoming? Quick break out the plans for rationing, censorship, property seizures, and more

    More papers describing the orders and messages the US President can issue in the event of apocalyptic crises, such as a devastating nuclear attack, have been declassified and released for all to see.

    These government files are part of a larger collection of records that discuss the nature, reach, and use of secret Presidential Emergency Action Documents: these are executive orders, announcements, and statements to Congress that are all ready to sign and send out as soon as a doomsday scenario occurs. PEADs are supposed to give America's commander-in-chief immediate extraordinary powers to overcome extraordinary events.

    PEADs have never been declassified or revealed before. They remain hush-hush, and their exact details are not publicly known.

    Continue reading
  • Stolen university credentials up for sale by Russian crooks, FBI warns
    Forget dark-web souks, thousands of these are already being traded on public bazaars

    Russian crooks are selling network credentials and virtual private network access for a "multitude" of US universities and colleges on criminal marketplaces, according to the FBI.

    According to a warning issued on Thursday, these stolen credentials sell for thousands of dollars on both dark web and public internet forums, and could lead to subsequent cyberattacks against individual employees or the schools themselves.

    "The exposure of usernames and passwords can lead to brute force credential stuffing computer network attacks, whereby attackers attempt logins across various internet sites or exploit them for subsequent cyber attacks as criminal actors take advantage of users recycling the same credentials across multiple accounts, internet sites, and services," the Feds' alert [PDF] said.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022