Qualcomm revenues up thanks to 3G

Higher-than-expected shipments of handset chips and more expensive phones led Qualcomm to raise its revenue and profit forecasts for the current quarter, according to an IDG News report.

The company now expects to report pro forma revenue slightly higher than its previous forecast of €1.6 billion (US$2.5 billion) to €1.7 billion (US$2.7 billion) for the quarter, citing expected shipments of about 86 million of its MSM (Mobile Station Modem) chips, the IDG News report said.

On April 23, after reporting its second-quarter results, Qualcomm had forecast shipments of 85 million to 88 million chips.

The worldwide growth of 3G mobile technology is driving Qualcomm's good fortune, the company said.

In addition to making its own chips for CDMA and W-CDMA phones and networks, the San Diego company owns numerous patents in those technologies and collects royalties from hardware vendors, the report said.

Demand has been higher than expected for Qualcomm's HSPA and EV-DO (Evolution-Data Optimized) chips, as well as carrier network upgrades, Qualcomm said.

The third-quarter results are heavily influenced by product shipments in the previous quarter, ended in March, because a majority of licensees report royalties the quarter after their products ship, according to Qualcomm.

In the March quarter, Qualcomm estimates, there were 107 million CDMA and W-CDMA devices shipped. That's well within a previous estimate of 105 million to 109 million and up significantly from 86 million a year earlier.

And even as unit shipments of 3G handsets grow, the average selling price of the phones was also higher than expected.