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Qualcomm CEO puts on a brave face over Apple dispute

Quarterly results worsened after Qualcomm this year lost Apple's iPhone business.

Ben Fox Rubin/CNET

Qualcomm is facing tough times after Apple iced it out of its latest iPhones and sued the chipmaker earlier this year.

But, Qualcomm's CEO offered a positive spin on the situation Wednesday, saying the company's timeline to reach a resolution remains on track. Granted, no specific time frame was mentioned.

"We have continued to have discussions with Apple to try and reach a resolution," CEO Steve Mollenkopf said on a call with analysts, later adding that a "potential resolution of our dispute with Apple [is] in front of us."

He added that a resolution could arrive through litigation or a settlement.

His comments seemed to contradict a story from Reuters that published earlier Wednesday, in which an anonymous source claimed Apple and Qualcomm aren't in talks "at any level" to settle the dispute.

Mollenkopf's comments come as Qualcomm has gone through particularly turbulent times, with the company facing multiple patent-related lawsuits and President Donald Trump even stepping in to stop rival Broadcom from pulling off a hostile takeover of Qualcomm.

While Mollenkopf offered upbeat words for his company's investors, Qualcomm's latest quarterly results, which were also reported Wednesday, painted a bleaker picture. Revenue dropped 2 percent to $5.8 billion and the company swung to a loss, due in part to losing Apple's iPhone business. Results beat market expectations.

Mollenkopf also touted the promise of 5G networks, which are expected to start hitting the market next year and should offer huge potential for Qualcomm's business.

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