Qualcomm today reported its earnings for the fourth quarter of 2020, which drove the company’s stock price higher tonight. This comes after the company introduced its 5G modems on several smartphones recently, including the iPhone 12 lineup.
As reported by CNBC, the company registered $6.5 billion in revenue during the fourth quarter, while it had estimated $5.93 billion. In comparison, Qualcomm reported $4.8 billion in revenue over the same period last year — so we’re talking about a 35% year-over-year increase.
In a statement to investors, Qualcomm made it clear that the revenue increase in the last quarter of 2020 is due to the expansion of the 5G network, as the company is responsible for the 5G modems that equip most of the 5G smartphones currently available in the market.
Our fiscal fourth quarter results demonstrate that our investments in 5G are coming to fruition and showing benefits in our licensing and product businesses,” said Steve Mollenkopf, CEO of Qualcomm Incorporated.
Last month, Apple introduced four new iPhone 12 models — all of which feature Qualcomm 5G modems. The semiconductor company has argued that this will bring even better results in 2021 when sales of the iPhone 12 will be reflected in its fiscal results. Qualcomm expects about 200 million 5G smartphones to be shipped by 2020 and 500 million more by 2021.
However, while Apple currently uses Qualcomm’s modems, the Cupertino-based company acquired Intel’s modem division in 2019 for $1 billion, so we expect that at some point, Apple will adopt its own 5G modems on iPhone.
Both Apple and Qualcomm were involved in a royalty dispute, but they reached an agreement in April last year as Intel’s technology acquired by Apple is not yet ready for 5G. We’re yet to see how much impact Qualcomm’s revenues will have once Apple begins using its own modems on iPhone, iPad, and other devices.