January 31, 2023

Qualcomm: the wireless market will grow 7 times in 10 years

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The total addressable market for wireless technology will grow sevenfold over the next decade, driven by expanding applications in the Internet of Things (IoT), handsets, automotive, and RF front-end categories, according to Qualcomm President and CEO Cristiano R. Amon.

“These trends, which include the transformation of the business from home, the convergence of mobile and PC, the merging of physical and digital spaces, the digital transformation of industries, connectivity and processing at the edge, the digital chassis automotive and 5G, have only continued to accelerate,” Amon said Wednesday, April 27 while sharing the prediction during Qualcomm’s quarterly earnings call.

Several verticals continue their digital transformation

In the quarter that ended March 27, Qualcomm’s IoT revenue grew 61% year over year, according to a presentation published at the same time as the call. IoT has seen growth in all three categories: consumer, edge networks, and industry.

“In the consumer IoT, Android tablets are becoming tools for collaboration, and increasingly demand is shifting from entry-level tablets to high-end connected computing devices – a clear validation of the convergence of mobile and from the PC,” Amon said.

In edge networks, Qualcomm is seeing continued demand for the connectivity required for remote work, school and play, Amon said. Its 5G fixed wireless access designs are also growing as they are deployed as a last-mile broadband solution.

Industrial IoT was the IoT category with the fastest year-over-year revenue growth, driven by demand for connectivity and advanced processing at the edge. Amon said this quarter saw accelerated demand for rugged wearables used in warehousing, logistics and healthcare and for robotic platforms.

“Going forward, we are actively building an ecosystem of system integrators and channel partners to support the scale of our industrial IoT platforms as they become essential for the digital transformation of multiple verticals,” said said Amon.

Cars are becoming “connected computers on wheels”

Handset revenues grew 56% year over year. In this category, Amon highlighted continued advances in smartphone cameras, artificial intelligence (AI)-based performance improvements in connectivity and computing performance.

Handset growth is driven by the transition from 4G to 5G and growing demand for increased performance in terms of processing power, cameras, audio, video and security.

Automotive revenues were up 41% year over year. The company’s Snapdragon digital chassis provides automakers with platforms for telematics, connectivity, digital cockpit, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), autonomy and cloud services.

Asked by an analyst if Qualcomm was on track to meet the automotive revenue growth it had projected in a previous meeting, Amon said, “It looks really good. The way you should think about this is that, as cars truly become connected computers on wheels, Qualcomm’s digital chassis assets really resonate with automakers.

Qualcomm sees ‘one of the biggest opportunities in our history’

RF Front End (RFFE) revenue grew 28% year over year, driven by 5G modem RF systems. RFFE includes mobile device components that convert information into radio signals that can be transmitted and received over the air.

“Looking to the future, in addition to handset growth, we are expanding the RF front end to automotive and IoT,” Amon said.

At the end of the call, Amon said Qualcomm was transitioning from a communications company for the mobile industry to a connected processor company for the smart edge, highlighting the current size of its IoT front-end business, automotive and RF.

“We’re just busy executing on one of the biggest opportunities in our history,” Amon said.

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