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Photo: Wang Gang/Visual China Group via Getty Images

Chipmaker Qualcomm on Wednesday reported sales and earnings that topped expectations, sending its shares higher. The results came amid stronger-than-anticipated smartphone shipments and licensing revenue.

Why it matters: Qualcomm is a major force in the wireless industry and arguably the biggest U.S.-based player in 5G.

By the numbers: The company reported adjusted earnings of $1.45, above its prior guidance, on adjusted revenue of $6.5 billion, also above the range that the company had said to expect.

Shares of Qualcomm rose in after-hours trading, changing hands recently at $136, up $7.03, or more than 5%.

What they're saying: Qualcomm President Cristiano Amon told Axios that 5G phones are reaching scale and the company's non-smartphone businesses are also doing better than expected.

"5G is good for Qualcomm," he said. "I think this is a milestone quarter for us."

Go deeper

Updated Nov 10, 2020 - Axios Events

Watch: A conversation on 5G

Axios' Ina Fried hosted a conversation on the potential of 5G and its capacity to disrupt everything from emergency response technology to sports, featuring Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg, Qualcomm President Cristiano Amon, Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin, Qwake Technologies co-founder John Long, and ORBI CEO Iskander Rakhman.

Cristiano Amon discussed the success of Qualcomm's 5G phones, which recently reported sales and earnings that exceeded expectations. He highlighted how 5G will change mobile phones and household devices in the future.

  • How 5G will upend consumers' video capabilities: "5G will do to video what 4G did to music...We don't listen to CDs in our cars. We stream music everywhere. And that's going to happen with high-resolution video. 95% of the time with 5G, you're going to be able to consume video in the highest possible resolution was made and it's going to turn each and every one of us into a broadcaster"

Hans Vestberg unpacked the increased capacity of 5G and how this will have a tangible impact on consumers.

  • On the leap from 4G to 5G: "On 5G I can connect one million devices per square kilometer...At the same time in 4G, I can do at this one hundred thousand."

In a new Smarter, Faster segment, Ina Fried hosted a rapid-fire Q&A with guests using 5G technology in their fields.

  • John Long discussed how 5G's improved bandwidth is critical for emergency responders: "If there's ever...a natural event where you have 50 hundred firefighters, several hundred, that's where you really need 5G. You need that scale. You won't have that bandwidth for a small number of people."
  • Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin on how cities can use 5G to make informed policy decisions: "If we can use interconnected devices that give faster and more reliable data, then we can come back and talk about issues like climate change and the impacts on, say, pollution and wind and rain."
  • Iskander Rakhman on the role of 5G in sports entertainment: "5G is going to be essential for bringing new types of experience to increase engagement among the fans of various ages."

Thank you Verizon for sponsoring this event.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

New deals in the COVID economy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

COVID-19 is the macro horror of our lifetimes, and has destroyed or severely damaged countless businesses. But, like with most horribles, it also has created some opportunities.

Driving the news: Merck this morning announced an agreement to buy OncoImmune, a Maryland-based biotech that showed promising late-stage clinical results for a therapy that treats severe and critical coronavirus cases.

2 hours ago - Technology

Biden's openings for tech progress

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images 

Item No. 1 on President-elect Joe Biden's day-one tech agenda, controlling the flood of misinformation online, offers no fast fixes — but other tech issues facing the new administration hold out opportunities for quick action and concrete progress.

What to watch: Closing the digital divide will be a high priority, as the pandemic has exposed how many Americans still lack reliable in-home internet connections and the devices needed to work and learn remotely.