Anybody watching the mobile industry can tell you that Qualcomm has had a fairly hard time in China lately. Between MediaTek CPUs ending up in a huge variety of products and antitrust regulators going after Qualcomm for their licensing and sale practices, it’s no surprise to see that they’re looking to improve their prospects in China, mostly through reconciliation and renegotiation with OEMs. After a $975 million fine from antitrust regulators, Qualcomm has been working at getting back in shape in China and recuperating from the nearly billion-dollar blow.
According to an announcement made on February 18, Lenovo will start paying Qualcomm royalties on their 3G and 4G phones in China, covering both their own creations and Motorola’s. The amount per phone and other terms were not disclosed, nor was the possibility of back pay or further deals in the future. This comes on the heels of Qualcomm setting relations straight with a number of OEMs in China, including Xiaomi, Huawei, ZTE and TCL. Agreements with the top five phone makers in China is likely to put Qualcomm back on top of their affairs in the region, though only time will tell if they’ll be able to get themselves back into fighting shape to post a profit for the year in China or globally.
Qualcomm has been having a hard time both in and out of China, with MediaTek gaining traction internationally, Huawei starting to make more use of their in-house Kirin processors and even losing out on the wildly popular Samsung Galaxy S6. Issues surrounding overheating on some variants of their Snapdragon 810 flagship processor didn’t help matters, even dampening the publicity of some OEMs due to its presence in their devices. The HTC One M9 and Sony Xperia Z4 in particular come to mind. Samsung opting for their own processor in their flagship for 2015, along with its bigger sibling, the Galaxy Note 5, did deal Qualcomm a crippling blow, but they seem set to recover this year with their latest offering. The Snapdragon 820 processor, after debuting in a LeEco phone, is set to wind up in some of the biggest name flagships of 2016, from the HTC One M10 to the LG G5. Samsung is set to play the its part with a return to Qualcomm and including the Snapdragon 820 in their flagship Galaxy S7. With things looking up worldwide, unless the Snapdragon 820 manages to go wrong, Qualcomm looks set to have a fairly good 2016.