Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Qualcomm's CEO Paul Jacobs Talks About Smartbooks and More!


When in San Diego recently, BoomTown paid a visit to Qualcomm and its Chairman and CEO, Paul Jacobs, to talk about a new “smartbook” device the wireless-technology company unveiled last week.

Well, sort of–while I got a gander at a prototype, the real one is not actually set to debut until the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show in January, where Jacobs will deliver his first keynote address.

There, he will show off what is essentially a combination of a smartphone and a netbook using wireless technology and an always-on capability, an attempt to push yet another innovative device type onto the market.

It will use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chip, and the first ones will be made by Lenovo and offered by AT&T (T)–to try to get the device widely used by consumers.

Smartbooks will be videocentric and have a Linux-based user interface, a keyboard and a range of popular widget applications, such as email and Facebook.

Obviously, this will be a competitive market and, really, Apple (AAPL), with its upcoming tablet computer, is also pushing into this mobile-phone-that-ate-computers space.

Moving into new markets has been important for Jacobs and Qualcomm (QCOM), which recently gave fiscal-year forecasts under Wall Street expectations and has had a rocky time in recent quarters.

Along with the econalypse, the company has attributed this to the decline in handsets with CDMA wireless technology, which Qualcomm pioneered.

Here’s my interview with Jacobs about smartbooks, as well as augmented reality and the company’s new FLO TV device, coming out soon. Plus, a wireless bandaid!:

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work