Qualcomm updates investors on supply chain, China

Qualcomm prioritises smartphones amid supply chain woes

04 NOV 2021

Qualcomm’s leadership told investors the company is weathering the headwinds of supply constraints, and is benefitting from strong demand for 5G phones, especially in China.

During its fiscal fourth quarter earnings call, Qualcomm CFO Akash Palkhiwala explained the chipmaker will allocate supplies to its most profitable businesses, favoring smartphones during calendar Q4.

“We are supply constrained, and we are making certain decisions given the strong handset market in that quarter to allocate supply a little differently based on profitability”, he said.

Palkhiwala also noted high-end smartphones are likely to be less impacted by supply chain issues than entry-level devices.

“When our customers have supply mismatches, they end up supplying the premium and high-end devices”, he said, adding this trend favors Qualcomm since it serves the premium end of the market.

Shortages are also an issue for Qualcomm itself, the CFO stated. “We do have constraints really across the board”, he said. He explained Qualcomm has responded in two ways: by finding secondary sources for some parts, and by expanding capacity.

Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon predicted supply and demand will start to come into balance for Qualcomm during the second half of 2022.

Supply chain imbalances have also contributed to weakness in China, the executives said, but some of that has been offset by strong demand for 5G devices. Palkhiwala estimated 70 per cent of China’s smartphone shipments are now 5G phones, adding domestic manufacturers are favouring designs that give users more features.

“Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi, Honor, all of our customers are moving up tier and as they move up tier that creates an incremental opportunity for us”, Palkhiwala said.

Qualcomm reported fiscal Q4 revenue of $9.3 billion, up 12 per cent from the year-ago quarter, and net income of $2.8 billion, down 5 per cent from the year-ago quarter. Shares were up more than 6 per cent after hours.



Martha DeGrasse

Freelance tech journalist Martha DeGrasse (@mardegrasse) is delighted to be contributing to Mobile World Live. Martha has written for a number of telecom and wireless publications, and was a writer, editor and video producer at RCR Wireless News for almost...

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