Qualcomm says handset replacement slowing

Qualcomm is seeing signs that customers are becoming slower to upgrade their mobile phones, a Reuters report said.

The Reuters report quoted CEO Paul Jacobs saying 'we're seeing some evidence there's a lengthening of replacement cycles.'

The executive said customers appeared to be holding onto their phones longer in developed markets such as Japan and South Korea.

The comment sent Qualcomm stock down 2% and cell phone maker Nokia down 4%. Shares of Motorola and Research In Motion also fell, as did wireless chip maker Texas Instruments as investors worried about holiday phone demand.

Jacobs said consumers tended to keep the same phone anywhere from a year to two years, depending on the region.

Jefferies & Co analyst Bill Choi said the comment, which he believes could also be applied to the US, fueled worries among investors who are already anxious to know whether phone demand would meet the typically high expectations for the upcoming holiday shopping period, the Reuters report said.