Qualcomm looks at India to lift demand

Qualcomm looks at India to lift demand

New Delhi: The largest maker of mobile chips, Qualcomm is looking at emerging economies like India to offset the slacking demand in US and other developed markets. It is also betting big on the 3G opportunity in India and is in talks with all the existing and new telecom operators.

Irwin Jacobs, Chairman, Qualcomm Inc says, “We think India will in fact be a very important market. Lot of developed countries are slowing down, people will not be turning in their phones for new phones frequently. You’ve a country like India which is just introducing 3G. There’ll be many growing unmet needs in villages as well as cities. I think we’ll be seeing a significant growth here". Jacobs was speaking at a seminar on ’Diffusion of Wireless Innovation’ in New Delhi, jointly organized by the CII and Qualcomm.

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/Content/Videos/2008-11-08/0711_Qualcomm_MINT_TV.flvfb1092f0-acdf-11dd-b719-000b5dabf613.flvAccording to a Reuter’s poll, cellphone makers will be seeing the market shrink for the first time since 2001. They are avoiding a build up of large inventories. And most analysts feel emerging markets hold the key to 2009.

Qualcomm will continue to invest in India, more so in the area of applications development and would be working closely with application developers. It also expects to increase investments through its VC arm very rapidly. A report by Venture Intelligence finds that 10 investments have been made by corporate VCs this year. Intel Capital, the VC arm of Intel, leads the way with investment in six Indian technology firms.

Qualcomm has recently reported a drop in fourth-quarter profit. Its sales this quarter may fall as much as 6% from a year earlier, which would be the first decline since the second quarter of 2001. The company has blamed the credit crisis and slowdown in the economy as the reasons behind the drop.

India currently has more than 325 million subscribers and is the fastest growing telecom market in the world. A figure that will touch 500 million before 2010, according to telecom minister A. Raja. The government will be auctioning 3G spectrum in January 2009.