Qualcomm Sees Strong Q4 Earnings Thanks to 5G iPhone 12

Qualcomm earned $8.3 billion in revenue in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to the company's earnings report that was shared today. That's up 73 percent from the fourth quarter of 2019, with Qualcomm's strong performance due in part to the 5G chips used in the iPhone 12 and other smartphones on the market.

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As reported by The Wall Street Journal, Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf said that some of the Q4 earnings report reflected iPhone sales, but earnings will be more substantial in the next quarter. "Our investments in 5G are coming to fruition and showing benefits in our licensing and product businesses," said Mollenkopf.

Qualcomm also received a one-time payment of $1.8 billion from Huawei, but even without that revenue, Qualcomm's sales were up 35 percent year over year.

Apple and Qualcomm last year settled a vicious legal battle over licensing fees after it became clear Apple would not be able to rely on Intel chips for its 5G iPhones. Apple and Qualcomm signed a multi-year licensing deal and all of the ‌iPhone 12‌ models are equipped with Qualcomm's 5G modems.

Going forward, Apple plans to use Qualcomm chips for years to come. A recent Apple roadmap suggested the company plans to rely on Qualcomm's X60, X65, and X70 chips through at least 2023. Apple is, however, developing its own modem chips in house and at some point, may shift to its own technology.

Apple in 2019 purchased the majority of Intel's smartphone modem business for $1 billion, giving Apple new wireless technology patents and engineers with expertise in modem development. Intel's former chip team has joined Apple's cellular technologies group, and at the time, Apple chip chief Johny Srouji said that the purchase would allow Apple to expedite development on future products.

Top Rated Comments

farewelwilliams Avatar
17 weeks ago
thanks to the settlement.

can't wait until Apple comes out with their own modem.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
btrach144 Avatar
17 weeks ago

...can't wait until Apple comes out with their own modem.
Yes and no. Qualcomm is regarded as the best.

In order for Apple to develop their own modem as being good for the consumers, Apple must be better than the best.

Otherwise it's another Intel fiasco again and nobody wins except Apple shareholders who will save a few dollars.


Another proof that, in today's world, whoever plays the dirtiest wins. Queue the censors ...
Or, hear me out, Qualcomm developed the best modem technology, patented it, and then Apple refused to play ball with Qualcomm.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Theyayarealivin Avatar
17 weeks ago
Go QualComm!!! We love having you in the new iPhone.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Digital Dude Avatar
17 weeks ago

for now, until Apple has their own modem :)
When Apple decides to reinvent the wheel, it doesn't always come out round.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
citysnaps Avatar
17 weeks ago

thanks to the settlement.

can't wait until Apple comes out with their own modem.
On the surface... as much as I would like Apple developing their own baseband modem, and am a supporter of most things Apple pursues and is involved in, I'd be shocked if they could develop a modem that would exceed the performance of Qualcomm's, and do so without stepping on Qualcomm's IP and 100,000+ patents.

Qualcomm has such a deep well of R&D experience in advanced communications systems, algorithm development, techniques, and novel designs going back to its co-founder Dr. Andrew Viterbi and others in the 1980s. Most communications systems engineers would tip their hats to Viterbi's and Qualcomm's accomplishments.

Apple is lucky to be able to draw on that advanced technology embodied in Qualcomm's modem chips. I just don't see Apple engineers staying ahead of the curve on current and future state of the art communications systems techniques and technologies as aggressively as Qualcomm. It's a lot more than just chip design.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ksec Avatar
17 weeks ago

sounds like you work for QCOM...
Or you dont know what he is talking about?

I mean, the whole thing is publicly documented, not the crap and rumours from news outlet, but the actual court case and legal documents. You can go and read it up and make up your own mind.

And the same as to IMG ( PowerVR ).

It is funny that MR Apple's Fans think Apple absolutely deserve the 30% from the App Store, and even more so if Apple like, while Apple should not pay a cent to Qualcomm invention, innovation and patents.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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