This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, May 20, 2003, that was edited for clarity. Click here for complete access to all of Neil Cavuto's CEO interviews.
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NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Chances are if you have a cell phone, some part of its technology is made by Qualcomm. But that may change and soon. Wireless maker Nokia and two other chipmakers putting the pressure on Qualcomm by announcing an alliance late last week. So what is the company doing to keep the competition at bay and deal with all of this SARS stuff from abroad? Joining me now the company’s founder, the chairman, the CEO, Dr. Irwin Jacobs.
Doctor, good to have you back.
CAVUTO: What do you, first of all, make of this renewed competitive threat? Is it a big deal?
JACOBS: Well, it is actually interesting. I think most of the manufacturers who are focusing in on WCDMA, the other CDMA standard for third generation, the fact they now say, hey, we are going to provide product for CDMA 2000, means that they see growth in CDMA 2000. So we view that as good news.
CAVUTO: All right. We should this code division multiple access is the fancy term for really the juice that gets a lot of, say, all of the phones going.
CAVUTO: Now, this whole cellular phone technology, a lot of people, and I use like my daughter as an example, a phone shouldn’t just be able to call anymore, it has got to allow you to play games, it has got to have color screens. It has got to do all of this stuff. Does it? Is that the big push?
JACOBS: Well, even more than that, all of the above. Also now, we have put on a global positioning system receiving capability, so if your child is off someplace and she has given you permission, you can locate her.
CAVUTO: Yes. The getting of permission part is the toughest part.
JACOBS: That’s the hard part. Well, if they want to get an allowance, that may help.
CAVUTO: You know, it was interesting, there was a great comeback in a lot of technology shares, yours included, from October lows. And then all of a sudden the SARS thing hit and then everyone said, well, you were one of the victims of that, one of the sort of anti-SARS plays, that you were exposed to this in a significant way, how do you answer that?
JACOBS: Well, in China, of course, we are looking forward to some significant growth. This year, next year, and SARS has slowed things down. People have kept out of the shopping centers. I think that we are getting through that now. Hopefully there won’t be a sudden turn-around again in that, but every indication seems to be that the controls are working and that people are returning both to work and to shopping.
CAVUTO: But did it affect even your access to that market?
JACOBS: Not the access but it did slow down the sale of phones. And particularly in Beijing, much of the rest of China wasn’t particularly affected. But that again is beginning to end. And it occurred in some sense at a reasonable time in that China Unicom has just introduced new technology, just getting it rolled out, and so we are looking forward to the rest of the year now for growth.
CAVUTO: What about the rest of the year for growth for the Nasdaq, tech-heavy index, it was down a little bit today, but I could say it has come up, what, 35 percent since the October lows. Do you think it is coming back?
JACOBS: Well, I can only speak for our part of the market. And again it is always hard to predict the market itself. But our part of the market, the wireless, CDMA part of the market, I think is looking quite good, growth in less developed countries, now growth with new products in the developed countries, I think that should over time drive profits and hence the stock prices in the market.
CAVUTO: All right. Dr. Irwin Jacobs, appreciate it. The founder, the chairman and CEO of Qualcomm, good seeing you again.
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