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Qualcomm CEO discusses Sharp ties, doesn't reveal much

In a CES Q&A session with reporters, Paul Jacobs doesn't say a whole lot about the company's new partnership, but does touch on some technologies it's interested in.

Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs at CES 2013. James Martin/CNET

LAS VEGAS--Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs said the company is working with Sharp on some next-generation technology that will make device screens much brighter, but revealed little else when asked about the chipmaker's recent investment in the ailing electronics maker.

When asked at a CES 2013 press Q&A why the company invested in Sharp and how open-ended that relationship was, Jacobs said the companies are working together on technologies and will continue to work on licensing. Many consumers aren't familiar with Qualcomm, but the company's processors power most of the world's smartphones.

Jacobs said the company is considering what's next in terms of devices, now that it's invested in big "phablets." Devices need to have brighter colors, improved outdoor invisibility, and battery life, something that Sharp is working on with Qualcomm, he said.

"That's the strategy moving forward. There's a little bit of uncertainty right now. We're working through those right now," he said.

Jacobs also said Qualcomm is working on improving Mirasol, its color ink technology for e-book readers. Mirasol hasn't made it to very many consumers because tablets are more desirable than a color e-reader. He said the company is still trying to figure out how to use, and make money off of, the technology.

Reporters asked Jacobs about other mobile technologies, including Google Glass and wearable technology. He said glasses with screens that take up the entire lens -- or even part of the lens like Google Glass -- often give him, and many consumers, headaches when worn, so the company is more interested in making smart watches and other devices you can wear on your wrist.

He also discussed his thoughts on Near Field Communications, or NFC, and the ability of the Windows Phone operating system to compete with major operating systems like iOS and Android.

Jacobs said NFC has potential, as does the Windows Phone system. He said Microsoft has lots of resources and the ability to tie its system into other products, like Microsoft enterprise software or the highly successful Xbox 360 gaming console.

"It's too early to call the game one way or another. I'm not willing to count Microsoft out," he said.