Qualcomm: Innovation to come from cars, not phones
While most of today's smartphones rely on Qualcomm for one component or another, its current top-of-the-line Snapdragon 835 SoC powers devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, the LG V30 and the Essential Phone. And while Qualcomm does provide some chips for Apple, both companies are currently embroiled in a huge legal fight over the royalties owed to Qualcomm for its standard essential patents.
But you can't blame Mollenkopf for having his attention drawn toward the automobile. According to research firm IDC, companies producing semiconductors will see sales to the automotive industry increase to $50.1 billion by 2021. That would be a 52% hike from last year's numbers. Qualcomm itself is focused on three aspects of the industry: Connectivity, computing and electrification. And the goal isn't necessarily to make cars faster. Cars are beginning to communicate with each other for various reasons including safety and maintenance.
While smartphones are moving toward the 5G and Gigabit LTE era, "The speed in which the car is taking in new technology is increasing rapidly," Mollenkopf said.