The move cost Qualcomm hundreds of millions of dollars in sales, but Jacobs told CNET that it was probably for the best.
He said his company has a path forward and he welcomed the heightened competition to ensure that Qualcomm keeps fighting.
“Competition is good. It’s the silver lining of what’s been going on with the Samsung situation. I think it’s a good wake-up call.”
Qualcomm remains the dominant player in mobile chips, with its Snapdragon processors, radio chips or both finding a home in Apple’s iPhone, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 phone, HTC’s One M9 phone, as well as many other devices. The arrival of more viable competitors in its market, though, could mean more choices for device makers and consumers.
Qualcomm plans to direct its roughly $5 billion annual research and development budget toward a handful of specific projects, so it can keep coming out with the most desirable technology, Jacobs said.
People might expect to see new technologies in the realms of virtual reality and robotics, as well as smartphone chips that can learn their owner’s interests. Those are major areas of research for Qualcomm, said Jacobs, the company’s CEO from 2005 to 2014 who now focuses on new technologies and long-term projects.