Will Talk Become Action?

11/18/2009 1:41 pm EST


Jim Jubak

Founder and Editor, JubakPicks.com

Talk is just talk. Even—or maybe that’s “especially”—when it’s from a company’s CEO.

But it can still give investors a sense of where a company thinks it’s headed.

Take, for example, the talk from Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM) chief executive officer Paul Jacobs in Hong Kong on November 18.

Jacobs told reporters that Qualcomm hopes to sell a fourth-generation chip based on the TD-LTE standard, China’s homegrown cell phone technology, in China in 2010.

The chip will be compatible with all existing 3G standards, which should help Qualcomm sell to China Mobile (NYSE: CHL), which operates on China’s TD-SCDMA standard.

Jacobs said he expects his company’s fastest revenue growth to come from China in the years through 2013. Analysts expect China’s 3G market to grow to 211 million by 2013 from 30 million in 2008, he said. China now accounts for 23% of Qualcomm’s revenue and is the company’s second largest market after Korea.

Qualcomm is already selling chips for 3G services in China based on Code Division Multiple Access 2000 technology to China Telecom (NYSE: CHA) and Wideband-CDMA technology to China Unicom (NYSE: CHU).

Jacobs didn't provide a forecast, but China now accounts for 23% of Qualcomm's revenue and is its second largest market after South Korea.

What else did he talk about?

The company’s plans to sell chips into an emerging new product category of computer-like mobile phones called “smart books.” (At least that’s what the category is called now, pending resolution of legal action from a small German company that sells a trademarked product under that name.) Jacobs said Qualcomm is working with 15 manufacturers on 40 new smart book designs. Taiwan’s HTC has already rolled out one model.

And last, but certainly not least, Jacobs addressed persistent rumors that Qualcomm is in talks with Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) for a “world mode” iPhone that would be built around a Qualcomm CDMA/UTMS chip. (For my most recent take on Apple, see this recent post)

Yes, the companies are talking, Jacobs said, but no, he wouldn’t tell reporters what they’re talking about. Could be an iPhone. Could be something else.

It’s all just talk. Got to love it. Got to hate it.

Full disclosure: I own shares of Qualcomm in my personal portfolio.

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