Qualcomm boss Jacobs talks up smartbooks on ARM

Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs had a lot to say at the company’s earnings and analyst call today, including mentioning a match made in heaven that is sure to shiver the timbers of the two-party Wintel alliance.

Qualcomm and ARM architecture are going to run very smoothly on Windows 8, Jacobs claimed. He put the experience of a traditional, heavy laptop – with a charger that “sometimes weighed more than the device” – as a Windows 8 enabled transition into ultra-thin laptops, tablets and convertible machines.

There will be these smartbooks, said Jacobs, that will run on ARM and Qualcomm technology with some rather familiar sounding selling points – always on, instant on, always connected.

We wonder what Intel makes of that as it bets the farm on the Ultrabook.

For Windows 8, the developer community’s eyes are “all on ARM”, and that is “because of the smartphone”. Jacobs promises some interesting technology and collaborations for 2013.

Jacobs also pulled out one of these:


But the Puss in Boots film he was demoing was almost too much and he threatened to leave the analysts to it.

Revenues for Qualcomm for its fiscal 2011 sit at $14.96 billion – an increase of 36 percent year on year. Operating income was $5 billion, up 35 percent year on year, while net income was $4.26 billion, or a 31 percent year-on-year increase. 

“Things went really well,” Jacobs told the room. “If you look at the kind of momentum that we have, the adoption that we have, the technology leadership we’re showing – we built the ofundation and executed that in fiscal 11”. Jacobs said it was an interesting year in other terms, too – it bought out Atheros, and that business is going well. Qualcomm also resolved some licensing problems with certain companies, he said.

Moving on, Jacobs reiterated that the smartphone isn’t just the future of computing, but the “present of computing”. Listing the adoption rate figures IT hacks have to write about all year round, Jacobs said: “This is the leading mobile platform – there’s no question. Everybody understands that now – the install base for smartphones will surpass PCs in 2011. That’s amazing.”

The main driver in smartphone adoption, according to Jacobs, has been the “great network connectivity.” He said the consumer is adopting the smartphone worldwide, and it’s “absolutely a worldwide phenomenon.”

Nokia may have to watch its back if its Microsoft gambit doesn’t pay off. Qualcomm believes that especially in emerging markets, there is a trend of dropping the traditional feature phone for the smartphone.

“Emerging regions and smartphones are coming together,” he said, and the reason for this is because Qualcomm is driving the cost down at the low end. Mobile connectivity is absolutely the future, Jacobs suggested, quoting internet service providers as saying their key strategies for the future are all in mobile.