With the news that Qualcomm will take over the CES keynote spot previously held by Microsoft, it really became clear what a dominant player the company has become. Quietly, while no one was paying attention, it’s become the second-most important semiconductor maker in the U.S.
Qualcomm started life in 1985 as a maker of cellular communications semiconductors, and it hasn’t strayed far from that formula. It’s pretty much the go-to company for CDMA chips and is now taking a lead in 4G LTE as well. So why would a company that’s so vertical become Intel’s biggest competitor? Because of where the two are headed.