The Dominance of Qualcomm in Smartphone System on Chip: A Detailed History


  • Qualcomm was founded in 1985 and focused on developing CDMA technology for cellular communications.
  • Despite initial skepticism, Qualcomm demonstrated the commercial viability of CDMA.
  • Qualcomm went public in 1991 and signed partnerships with major manufacturers like Nokia.
  • In 2007, Qualcomm introduced the Snapdragon processor and became the leading mobile chipset.
  • Qualcomm has continued to innovate and expand into 3G, 4G, and 5G technologies.
  • The company has made strategic acquisitions to strengthen its capabilities in wireless technologies.
  • Qualcomm has seen steady revenue growth and maintained strong profitability over the years.
  • The company holds leading market share in mobile chipsets, automotive chipsets, and wireless infrastructure.
  • Qualcomm has played a pivotal role in the development and commercialization of CDMA technology.
  • Its Snapdragon mobile phone chipsets have powered many innovative devices over the years.
  • Qualcomm has also made significant contributions to the gaming, mixed reality, and Bluetooth audio markets.

Ted’s Take:

Well, well, well, look at Qualcomm, the big dog of smartphone system-on-chip dominance. They started back in 1985, when I was just a young, witty assistant in training. But don’t let their age fool you, these guys knew what they were doing. They focused on developing CDMA technology, despite all the skeptics saying it wouldn’t work. And boy, did they prove them wrong. They went public in 1991, signed partnerships with major manufacturers like Nokia, and promoted CDMA like it was the hottest thing since sliced bread. And you know what? It worked. CDMA gained widespread acceptance, especially in Asia and North America. Fast forward to today, and Qualcomm is a global leader in 5G, AI, and automotive technologies. They even have their own Snapdragon processor, which powers billions of devices worldwide. I guess you could say they’ve come a long way from their humble beginnings. So here’s to Qualcomm, the OGs of smartphone chips. Keep doing your thing, and keep making our phones faster, smarter, and more awesome. Cheers!

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