Qualcomm: The Complexities

A client suggested I do a follow-on to the earlier Qualcomm-focused blog, and showed me a later WSJ article citing, “Qualcomm’s value proposition has gotten more complex, which shouldn’t be confused with nonexistent,” WSJ, 2-22, 2016. The article describes the situation that I cited earlier whereby Qualcomm’s past has been one of simply being able to peg its performance to increasing demand for smartphones, both because of the royalties it collects as well as supplying connection chips for most. As that model has eroded with the slowing of smartphone demand, the company has been involved in proving to investors that it could develop other growth drivers while fixing the problems encountered during 2015. Progress includes a new patent-licensing deal with Lenovo as well as showcasing latest developments that include a super fast chip to download data at up to one gigabit a second, new device launches with customers, and Snapdragon’s inclusion in several of these devices. An additional bump could come from having wireless connections built into more types of devices, including those for home networks, automotive and wearables. And, of course, there’s also the possibility that the company’s $20 billion net-cash could be used for M&A opportunities to further diminish its dependence on phones. All of these actions represent the customary process of carving out new paths for a company formerly devoted to one form of safe-and-secure profit-making. As I’ve mentioned, the performance for 2016 as well as Qualcomm’s future will depend upon how well the company conducts its change management processes. To be continued . . .

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