Qualcomm reported $4.68 billion of revenue, while analysts were expecting $4.58 billion. Not only that, but the company said it earned $1.395 billion in Q4, compared with $1.17 billion the previous year.
The charismatic CEO Paul Jacobs said that Qualcomm's stellar quarter is partly due to the fact that Apple sold 37 million iPhones, which, besides payments for the combined GSM/CDMA chipset, also means a lot of royalties that Cupertino is paying the chip maker for its patented wireless technologies.
The other main reason was the exploding smartphone and tablet share in emerging markets, where Qualcomm has a strong footprint, and is supplying chips by the boatload, albeit with smaller operating margins.
Qualcomm expects the emerging markets trend to continue at least in the next five years, and analysts say it is "in the right place at the right time" to earn big from its combined LTE chipsets, as that's the apparent 4G trend with carriers worldwide. Qualcomm's shares rose 5% after the earnings announcement.