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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.

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.

Woman who allegedly stole laptop from Pelosi's office to sell to Russia is arrested

Photo: FBI

A woman accused of breaching the Capitol and planning to sell to Russia a laptop or hard drive she allegedly stole from Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office was arrested in Pennsylvania's Middle District Monday, the Department of Justice said.

Driving the news: Riley June Williams, 22, is charged with illegally entering the Capitol as well as violent entry and disorderly conduct. She has not been charged over the laptop allegation and the case remains under investigation, per the DOJ.

Biden will reverse Trump's attempt to lift COVID-related travel restrictions

Photo: Tasos Katopodis via Getty

The incoming Biden administration will reverse President Trump's last-minute order to lift COVID-19 related travel restrictions, Jen Psaki, the incoming White House press secretary, tweeted.

Why it matters: President Trump ordered entry bans lifted for travelers from the U.K., Ireland, Brazil and much of Europe to go into effect Jan. 26, but the Biden administration will "strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19," Jen Psaki said. Biden will be inaugurated on Wednesday, Jan. 20 and Trump will no longer be president by the time the order is set to go into effect.