Photo Illustration: Avishek Das/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Smartphone sales continue to be lower than a year ago, but the market is recovering faster than expected Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf told Axios on Wednesday. Meanwhile, a patent deal with Huawei is adding an extra $1.8 billion to the company's revenue, with the combined news sending shares soaring in after-hours trading.

Why it matters: The announcement suggests that the market impact of the coronavirus may be less than initially feared.

"It’s recovering faster than what we would have forecasted," Mollenkopf said. "It’s pretty strong."

Shares of Qualcomm surged following its earnings announcement, changing hands recently at $106.50, up $13.47, or more than 14%.

The big picture: The company posted earnings for the three months ending June 30 that were above expectations and said it expects that phone sales this quarter could be down 15% year over year, "including a partial impact from the delay of a global 5G flagship phone launch."

  • Mollenkopf declined to name the customer, but that would appear to be a reference to Apple, which has been rumored to be launching this year's iPhone somewhat later than expected. Apple makes its own core processor but uses Qualcomm's modem chip.
  • The company also said it settled a long-running dispute with Huawei earlier this month. The deal included a patent cross-licensing deal and Qualcomm said it expects additional revenue of $1.8 billion from the deal.

Between the lines: Mollenkopf said business in China has recovered faster and more sharply than initially feared and that he is pleased with the global rollout of both 5G networks and new phones supporting them.

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Oct 20, 2020 - World

Sweden bans Chinese telecoms Huawei and ZTE from 5G networks


Photo: Visual China Group via Getty Images

Sweden banned Chinese telecom giants Huawei and ZTE from its 5G mobile networks on Tuesday, citing China’s “extensive intelligence gathering and theft of technology.”

The big picture: Since the Trump administration announced its own ban last year, the U.S. government has increasingly pressured allies to follow its lead amid growing tensions between the West and China. In July, the United Kingdom became the first European country to announce plans to exclude Huawei from its networks by 2027.

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Early voting eclipses 2016 total with 12 days until election

People stand in line to vote early in Fairfax, Virginia in September. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Americans have cast more than 47.1 million ballots in the 2020 presidential election, surpassing the total early-vote count for 2016 with 12 days left until Election Day, according to a Washington Post analysis of voting data.

Why it matters: The election is already underway, as many states have expanded early and mail-in voting options because of the coronavirus pandemic.