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EX-21 - EXHIBIT 21 - QUALCOMM INC/DEqcom93018ex21.htm
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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549
FORM 10-K
(Mark one)
 
 
 
þ
 
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2018
OR
 
 
 
o
 
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from                      to                      .
Commission File Number 0-19528
QUALCOMM Incorporated
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
 
 
 
 
 
 
Delaware
(State or Other Jurisdiction of
Incorporation or Organization)
 
95-3685934
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)
 
 
 
5775 Morehouse Dr.
San Diego, California
(Address of Principal Executive Offices)
 
92121-1714
(Zip Code)

(858) 587-1121
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
Securities registered pursuant to section 12(b) of the Act:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Title of Each Class
 
Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered
Common stock, $0.0001 par value
 
NASDAQ Stock Market
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.
Yes x No o
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes o No x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes xNo o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes x No o
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, smaller reporting company or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):
Large accelerated filer
x
Accelerated filer
o
Non-accelerated filer
(Do not check if a smaller reporting company)
o
Smaller reporting company
o
Emerging growth company
o
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes o No x
 
 
 
 
 
The aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates of the registrant at March 25, 2018 (the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter) was $79,468,272,443, based upon the closing price of the registrant’s common stock on that date as reported on the NASDAQ Global Select Market.
The number of shares outstanding of the registrant’s common stock was 1,212,162,586 at November 5, 2018.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the registrant’s Definitive Proxy Statement in connection with the registrant’s 2019 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, to be filed with the Commission subsequent to the date hereof pursuant to Regulation 14A, are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Report.


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QUALCOMM INCORPORATED
Form 10-K
For the Fiscal Year Ended September 30, 2018
Index
 
 
Page
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


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TRADEMARKS
Qualcomm, Snapdragon, MSM, Adreno and Wireless Reach are trademarks of Qualcomm Incorporated, registered in the United States and other countries.
Other products and brand names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

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In this document, the words “Qualcomm,” “we,” “our,” “ours” and “us” refer only to QUALCOMM Incorporated and its subsidiaries and not any other person or entity. This Annual Report (including, but not limited to, the section regarding Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations) contains forward-looking statements regarding our business, investments, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. Words such as “expects,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “seeks,” “estimates” and similar expressions or variations of such words are intended to identify forward-looking statements, but are not the exclusive means of identifying forward-looking statements in this Annual Report. Additionally, statements concerning future matters such as the development of new products, enhancements or technologies, industry and market trends, sales levels, expense levels and other statements regarding matters that are not historical are forward-looking statements, but are not the exclusive means of identifying forward-looking statements in this Annual Report.
Although forward-looking statements in this Annual Report reflect our good faith judgment, such statements can only be based on facts and factors currently known by us. Consequently, forward-looking statements are inherently subject to risks and uncertainties and actual results and outcomes may differ materially from the results and outcomes discussed in or anticipated by the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences in results and outcomes include without limitation those discussed under “Part I, Item 1A. Risk Factors” below, as well as those discussed elsewhere in this Annual Report. Readers are urged not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this Annual Report. We undertake no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statements in order to reflect any event or circumstance that may arise after the date of this Annual Report. Readers are urged to carefully review and consider the various disclosures made in this Annual Report, which attempt to advise interested parties of the risks and factors that may affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
PART I
Item 1. Business
We incorporated in California in 1985 and reincorporated in Delaware in 1991. We operate and report using a 52-53 week fiscal year ending on the last Sunday in September. Our 52-week fiscal years consist of four equal fiscal quarters of 13 weeks each, and our 53-week fiscal years consist of three 13-week fiscal quarters and one 14-week fiscal quarter. The financial results for our 53-week fiscal years and our 14-week fiscal quarters will not be exactly comparable to our 52-week fiscal years and our 13-week fiscal quarters. The fiscal year ended September 30, 2018 included 53 weeks. The fiscal years ended September 24, 2017 and September 25, 2016 included 52 weeks.
Overview
We are a global leader in the development and commercialization of foundational technologies and products used in mobile devices and other wireless products, including network equipment, broadband gateway equipment and consumer electronic devices. Our inventions helped power the growth in smartphones, which have connected billions of people. We are a pioneer in 3G (third generation) and 4G (fourth generation) wireless technologies and are now a leader in 5G (fifth generation) wireless technologies to empower a new era of intelligent, connected devices. Our technologies and products are also used in industry segments and applications beyond mobile, including automotive, IoT (Internet of Things), networking, computing and AI (artificial intelligence), such as machine learning, allowing more devices to connect and communicate with each other in new ways. We derive revenues principally from sales of integrated circuit products and licensing our intellectual property, including patents, software and other rights.
The foundational technologies we invent help power the modern mobile experience, impacting how the world connects, computes and communicates. We share these inventions broadly through our licensing program, ensuring wide ecosystem access to technologies at the core of mobile innovation, and through the sale of our wireless chipset platforms and other products, which accelerates consumer adoption of experiences empowered by these inventions. As a company, we collaborate across the ecosystem, including manufacturers, operators, developers, governments and industry standards organizations, to create a global environment to drive continued progress and growth.
We have a long history of driving innovation. We played a leading role in developing the inventions that serve as the foundation for 3G and 4G wireless technologies, and which serve as the basis for 5G wireless technologies. This includes the CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) and OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access) families of technologies, with the latter encompassing LTE (Long Term Evolution), which, along with TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access), are the primary digital technologies currently used to transmit a wireless device user’s voice or data over radio waves using a public cellular wireless network. We own significant intellectual property, including patents, patent applications and trade secrets, applicable to products that implement any version of CDMA and OFDMA. Companies in the mobile communications industry generally recognize that any company seeking to develop, manufacture and/or sell

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subscriber units or infrastructure equipment that use CDMA-based and/or OFDMA-based technologies will require a license or other rights to use our patents.
We also develop and commercialize numerous other key technologies used in handsets and other wireless devices that contribute to end-user demand, and we own substantial intellectual property related to these technologies. Some of these inventions were contributed to and are being commercialized as industry standards, such as certain video and audio codecs, Wi-Fi, GPS (global positioning system) and Bluetooth. Other technologies widely used by wireless devices that we have developed are not related to any industry standards, such as operating systems, user interfaces, graphics and camera processing functionality, RF (radio frequency), RF front-end and antenna design and application processor architectures. Our patents cover a wide range of technologies across the entire wireless system (including wireless devices and infrastructure equipment) and not just what is embodied in chipsets.
We are organized on the basis of products and services and have three reportable segments. We conduct business primarily through our QCT (Qualcomm CDMA Technologies) semiconductor business and our QTL (Qualcomm Technology Licensing) licensing business. QCT develops and supplies integrated circuits (also known as chips or chipsets) and system software based on CDMA, OFDMA and other technologies for use in mobile devices, wireless networks, devices used in IoT, broadband gateway equipment, consumer electronic devices and automotive telematics and infotainment systems. QTL grants licenses to use portions of our intellectual property portfolio, which includes certain patent rights essential to and/or useful in the manufacture and sale of certain wireless products. Our QSI (Qualcomm Strategic Initiatives) reportable segment makes strategic investments. We also have nonreportable segments, including our cyber security solutions (formerly Qualcomm Government Technologies or QGOV), mobile health, small cells and other wireless technology and service initiatives.
Industry Trends
The mobile industry has experienced tremendous growth for more than 20 years, growing from less than 60 million global connections in 1994 (WCIS+, October 2017) to approximately 7.9 billion global connections estimated as of September 30, 2018 (GSMA Intelligence, November 2018). As the largest technology platform in the world, mobile has changed the way we connect, compute and communicate with one another. The scale and pace of innovation in mobile, especially around connectivity and computing capabilities, is also impacting industries beyond wireless, empowering new services, new business models and new experiences. Our inventions and licensing program have been integral to, and provided foundational technologies for, the evolution of the mobile industry.
Extending connectivity. 3G/4G multimode mobile broadband technology has been a key growth driver of mobile, providing users with fast, reliable, always-on connectivity. Estimated as of September 30, 2018, there were approximately 5.5 billion 3G/4G connections globally (CDMA-based, OFDMA-based and CDMA/OFDMA multimode) representing nearly 69% of total mobile connections (GSMA Intelligence, November 2018). By 2022, global 3G/4G connections are projected to reach 7.2 billion, with approximately 87% of these connections coming from emerging regions (including China) (GSMA Intelligence, November 2018).
3G/4G multimode mobile broadband continues to be an important platform for extending the reach and potential of the Internet. In 2010, the number of broadband connections using mobile technology surpassed those using fixed technologies (GSMA Intelligence, November 2018), making mobile networks the primary method of accessing the Internet for many people around the world. This is further amplified in emerging regions, where, as of September 30, 2018, 3G/4G mobile broadband connections are estimated to be approximately seven times the number of fixed Internet household connections (GSMA Intelligence November 2018 and PT June 2018). In China, 3G/4G LTE multimode services have experienced strong adoption since being launched in the fourth quarter of calendar 2013, with more than 1.3 billion connections estimated as of September 30, 2018 (GSMA Intelligence, November 2018). In India, mobile operators continue to expand their 4G multimode services, providing consumers with the benefits of advanced mobile broadband connectivity while creating new opportunities for device manufacturers and other members of the mobile ecosystem. 3G/4G mobile broadband may be the first and, in many cases, the only way that people in these regions access the Internet.
Looking ahead, we expect to continue to be a leader in the next generation of wireless technology, known as 5G. Initial commercial deployments of 5G, which will focus on enhanced mobile broadband services, are expected to begin in calendar 2019. In June 2018, 3GPP (the 3rd Generation Partnership Project), an industry standards development organization, completed the first global specifications for 5G NR (New Radio) (Release 15). The 5G NR standard is expected to provide a unified connectivity network for all spectrum and service types based on OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing) technology, and it is designed to support faster data rates, lower network latency and wider bandwidths of spectrum. 5G NR is expected to enhance mobile broadband services, including ultra-high definition (4K) video streaming and

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augmented and virtual reality applications, with multi-gigabit speeds and to bring more capacity, which may enable operators to offer new unlimited mobile data plans.
Incorporating many of the innovations developed for 4G, future generations of 5G (3GPP Release 16 and beyond) are expected to expand 5G NR technologies to new industries beyond traditional cellular communications that will create new business models and new services, such as autonomous vehicles and artificial intelligence-based platforms designed to bring greater autonomy to manufacturing and other industrial applications (known as Industrial IoT), through ultra-reliable, ultra-low latency communication links; and connecting a significant number of “things” (also known as IoT, including the connected home, smart cities, wearables and voice and music devices), with connectivity designed to meet ultra-low power, complexity and cost requirements. We expect these future generations of 5G, which build on the various 3G and 4G features addressing IoT, will further contribute to the trend of enabling cellular connectivity to non-handset categories of devices. By 2025, global 5G connections are projected to reach 1.3 billion worldwide, representing approximately 15% of total cellular connections (GSMA Intelligence, November 2018).
Most 5G devices are expected to include multimode support for 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi, enabling service continuity where 5G has yet to be deployed and simultaneous connectivity across 4G technology, while also allowing mobile operators to utilize current network deployments. At the same time, 4G is expected to continue to evolve in parallel with the development of 5G and become fundamental to many of the key 5G technologies (through multi-connectivity), such as support for unlicensed spectrum, gigabit LTE user data rates and LTE IoT to meet the needs of ultra-low power, complexity and cost applications. The first phase of 5G networks is expected to support mobile broadband services for the smartphone form factor both in lower spectrum bands below 6 GHz as well as higher bands above 6 GHz, including millimeter wave (mmWave). We continue to work closely with mobile operators and infrastructure companies around the world on 5G NR demonstrations and trials in preparation for commercial network launches. We are also enabling 5G commercialization with our 5G modem family compliant with the 3GPP-based 5G NR global system. As with previous generations of mobile networks, it will take time to proliferate new 5G networks. We expect that 4G LTE will continue to grow and serve as the anchor of the 5G mobile experience (through multi-connectivity) for many years to come.
Growth in smartphones. Smartphone adoption continues to expand globally, fueled by fast 3G/4G LTE multimode connectivity, powerful mobile processors, advanced multimedia features and enhanced location awareness capabilities, among others. In 2017, approximately 1.5 billion smartphones shipped globally, which is consistent year-over-year, with cumulative smartphone shipments between 2018 and 2022 projected to reach approximately 7.8 billion (IDC Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, 2018Q2). Most of this growth is projected to happen in emerging regions (including China), where smartphones accounted for approximately 70% of total handset shipments in 2017 and are projected to reach approximately 84% in 2022 (IDC Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, 2018Q2). Growth in smartphones has not only been driven by the success of premium-tier devices but also by the number of affordable handsets that are available in emerging regions, as well as the variety of flexible and affordable data plans being offered by mobile operators.
Consumer demand for new types of experiences empowered by 3G/4G LTE connectivity, combined with the needs of mobile operators and device manufacturers to provide differentiated features and services, is driving continued innovation within the smartphone. As a result, the smartphone has become the go-to device for social networking, music, gaming, email and web browsing, among others. It is expected that 5G connectivity will drive further innovations within the smartphone and increase consumer demand by offering enhanced connectivity, which in turn will enable new applications. Given its advanced capabilities and utility, the smartphone is replacing many traditional consumer electronics devices, including digital cameras, video cameras, standalone GPS units and music players. We have been a leading contributor to this innovation across multiple technology dimensions, including connectivity, intelligence, camera, audio, video, sensors and security.
Transforming other industries. With their significant scale, rapid development cycles and highly integrated solutions, industries beyond mobile, including automotive, IoT and computing, among others, are leveraging the same technology innovations found in today’s leading smartphones to enhance existing products and services as well as to create new products and services. Our inventions that contribute to the formation of advanced cellular technologies, such as 3G/4G and now 5G connectivity, are helping to drive this transformation. 5G is expected to further accelerate this transformation. For example, in the automotive industry, approximately 74% of new vehicles sold are projected to have cellular connectivity by 2025, representing an increase from 32% in 2017 (Strategy Analytics, October 2018). In addition, the installed base of IoT devices is projected to grow more than 50% between 2018 and 2022 (ABI Research, August 2018).
The proliferation of intelligent, connected things is also enabling new types of user experiences, as smartphones are able to interact with and control more of the objects around us. Through the addition of embedded sensors and computer intelligence, connected things are able to collect and share data, providing users with contextually relevant information and further increasing the device’s utility and value.

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Wireless Technologies Overview
The growth in the use of wireless devices worldwide and the demand for data services and applications requires continuous innovation to further improve the user experience, support new services, increase network capacity, make use of different frequency bands and allow for dense network deployments. To meet these requirements, different wireless communications technologies continue to evolve. For nearly three decades, we have invested heavily in research and development to drive the evolution of wireless technologies, including CDMA and OFDMA. As a result, we have developed and acquired (and continue to develop and acquire) significant related intellectual property. This intellectual property has been incorporated into the most widely accepted and deployed cellular wireless communications technology standards, and we have licensed it to several hundred licensees, including leading wireless device and infrastructure manufacturers.
Cellular wireless technologies. Relevant cellular wireless technologies can be grouped into the following categories.
TDMA-based. TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access)-based technologies are characterized by their access method allowing several users to share the same frequency channel by dividing the signal into different time slots. Most of these systems are classified as 2G (second generation) technology. The main examples of TDMA-based technologies are GSM (deployed worldwide), IS-136 (deployed in the Americas) and Personal Digital Cellular (PDC) (deployed in Japan).
The transition of wireless devices from 2G to 3G/4G technologies continued around the world with estimated 3G/4G connections up 16% year-over-year (GSMA Intelligence, November 2018). Estimated as of September 30, 2018, there were approximately 2.4 billion GSM connections worldwide, representing approximately 30% of total cellular connections, down from 39% as of September 30, 2017 (GSMA Intelligence, November 2018).
CDMA-based. CDMA-based technologies are characterized by their access method allowing several users to share the same frequency and time by allocating different orthogonal codes to individual users. Most of the CDMA-based technologies are classified as 3G technology.
There are a number of variants of CDMA-based technologies deployed around the world, in particular CDMA2000, EV-DO (Evolution Data Optimized), WCDMA (Wideband CDMA) and TD-SCDMA (Time Division-Synchronous CDMA) (deployed exclusively in China). CDMA-based technologies provide vastly improved capacity for voice and low-rate data services as compared to analog technologies and significant improvements over TDMA-based technologies such as GSM. To date, these technologies have seen many revisions. New specifications continue to be defined by 3GPP.
CDMA technologies ushered in a significant increase in broadband data services that continue to grow globally. According to GSMA Intelligence estimates as of September 30, 2018, there were approximately 2.3 billion CDMA-based connections worldwide, representing approximately 29% of total cellular connections, down year-over-year as consumers migrate to OFDMA-based technologies.
OFDMA-based. OFDMA-based technologies are characterized by their access method allowing several users to share the same frequency band and time by allocating different subcarriers to individual users. Most of the OFDMA-based technologies to be deployed through 2018 are classified as 4G technology. 5G will heavily leverage OFDM-based technologies. We continue to play a significant role in the development of LTE, LTE Advanced and LTE Advanced Pro, which are the predominant 4G technologies currently in use.
LTE is incorporated in 3GPP specifications starting from Release 8 and uses OFDMA in the downlink and single carrier FDMA (SC-FDMA) in the uplink. LTE has two modes, FDD (frequency division duplex) and TDD (time division duplex), to support paired and unpaired spectrum, respectively, and continues to evolve as 3GPP defines new specifications. The principal benefit of LTE is its ability to leverage a wide range of spectrum (bandwidths of up to 20 MHz or more through aggregation). LTE is designed to seamlessly interwork with 3G through 3G/4G multimode devices. Most LTE devices rely on 3G for voice services across the network, as well as for ubiquitous data services outside the LTE coverage area, and on 4G for data services inside the LTE coverage area. LTE’s voice solution, VoLTE (voice over LTE), is being commercially deployed in a growing number of networks.
LTE Advanced brings many more enhancements, including carrier aggregation, advanced antenna techniques and optimization for small cells. Apart from improving the performance of existing networks, these releases also bring new enhancements under the umbrella of LTE Advanced Pro to which we have been a significant contributor, including, LTE Direct for proximity-based device-to-device discovery, cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) communication, improved LTE broadcast, optimizations of narrowband communications designed for IoT (known as eMTC and NB-IoT) and the ability to use LTE Advanced in unlicensed spectrum (LTE Unlicensed) as well as in emerging shared spectrum bands in various regions (such as the Citizens Broadband Radio Service or CBRS in the United States). There will be multiple options for deploying LTE Unlicensed for different deployment scenarios.

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LTE-U, which relies on an LTE control carrier based on 3GPP Release 12, uses carrier aggregation to combine unlicensed and licensed spectrum in the downlink and has been introduced in early mobile operator deployments in the United States and evolves to Licensed Assisted Access (LAA).
LAA, introduced as part of 3GPP Release 13, also aggregates unlicensed and licensed spectrum in both up and downlink and is being deployed globally by mobile operators. LAA is a key technology for many operators with limited licensed spectrum to deliver Gigabit LTE speeds.
There also have been ongoing efforts to make the interworking between LTE and Wi-Fi more seamless and completely transparent to the users. Further integration is achieved with LTE Wi-Fi Link Aggregation (LWA), which will utilize existing and new carrier Wi-Fi deployments.
According to GSMA Intelligence estimates as of September 30, 2018, there were approximately 3.2 billion global LTE connections worldwide, representing approximately 40% of total cellular connections.
According to the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA), as of October 2018, more than 865 wireless operators have commercially deployed or started testing LTE networks with 715 commercially launched in 208 countries, including 270 networks in 122 countries having commercially launched LTE Advanced networks featuring carrier aggregation (GSA, November 2018).
As we look forward, the wireless industry is actively developing and commercializing 5G technologies. Our inventions that serve as foundational technologies for 3G and 4G now also serve as foundational technologies for 5G. 5G is designed to transform the role of wireless technologies and incorporates advancements on 3G/4G features available today, including device-to-device capabilities and the use of all different types of spectrum (including licensed, unlicensed and shared spectrum). We continue to play a significant role in driving 5G from standardization to commercialization, including contributing to 3GPP standardization activities that are defining 5G NR and Next Generation Core (NGC) standards and their continued evolution.
5G NR is incorporated in 3GPP specifications starting from Release 15, which was completed in June 2018, and will be available in two architectural options: a non-standalone option where a data-only 5G NR link can be added to an existing 4G LTE deployment leveraging the existing 4G LTE core network; and a standalone option where 5G NR is deployed together with the 5G NGC network. The main advantages of 5G NR are its ability to target diverse services with very different technical requirements (from enhanced mobile broadband to massive IoT to mission critical services), its utilization of diverse types of spectrum (from the low bands to millimeter bands) and its ability to support diverse types of deployment scenarios. Predominant technological components of 5G NR include a scalable OFDM-based air interface with scalable OFDM numerology, a flexible slot-based framework with self-contained slot structure to address ultra-reliable, low-latency communication, new channel coding schemes to efficiently support large data blocks, multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) and mobile millimeter wave to significantly increase the data rate offered to users. Like 3G and 4G LTE, 5G NR will support carrier aggregation across spectrum bands, across FDD and TDD, across licensed and unlicensed spectrum, but 5G NR will also support dual connectivity across LTE and 5G NR. A main benefit of 5G NR is its ability to take advantage of very wide channel bandwidth such as 800/400/100 MHz (to be compared with 4G LTE’s 20 MHz maximum bandwidth which require carrier aggregation to combine spectrum beyond 20 MHz). As with previous cellular generations, 5G NR is designed to support seamless compatibility with 2G/3G/4G technologies through multimode devices.
Other (non-cellular) wireless technologies. There are other, non-cellular wireless technologies that have also been broadly adopted.
Wireless Local Area Networks. Wireless local area networks (WLAN), such as Wi-Fi, link two or more nearby devices wirelessly and usually provide connectivity through an access point. Wi-Fi systems are based on standards developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in the 802.11 family of standards. 802.11ax, the latest standard, adds advanced features such as downlink and uplink OFDMA and uplink multiple-user MIMO to the 802.11 baseline standard. This technology primarily targets broadband connectivity for mobile devices, tablets, laptops and other consumer electronics devices using 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz spectrum. For 60GHz mmWave technology, 802.11ay adds wider channel bandwidth and the use of MIMO to the existing 802.11ad (also known as Gigabit Wi-Fi or WiGig) standard. 802.11ah was finalized in early 2017 and targets sub-1 GHz spectrum and is expected to be a solution for “connected home” applications that require long battery life. We played a leading role in the development of 802.11ac, 802.11ax, 802.11ay, 802.11ah, 802.11ad and 802.11p, and we are actively involved in innovative programs developed in the context of the Wi-Fi Alliance.
Bluetooth. Bluetooth is a wireless personal area network that provides wireless connectivity between devices over short distances ranging from a few centimeters to a few hundred meters. Bluetooth technology provides wireless connectivity to a wide range of fixed or mobile consumer electronics devices. Bluetooth functionalities are standardized by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group in various versions of the specification (from 1.0 to 5.0), which include different functionalities, such

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as enhanced data rate, low energy and mesh technologies. We are a leading contributor to Bluetooth technologies in the areas of mobile devices, HID (human interface device), A/V (audio/video) and mesh technologies.
Location Positioning Technologies. Location positioning technologies have evolved rapidly in the industry over the past few years in order to deliver an enhanced commercial location experience and comply with the new mandates on location for E911 calls from the United States Federal Communications Commission. We are a key developer of the Assisted-GPS (A-GPS), Assisted Global Navigation Satellite System (A-GNSS) and WLAN positioning technologies used in most cellular handsets today. For uses requiring the best reliability and accuracy for E911 services and navigational based services, A-GPS, A-GNSS and WLAN provide leading-edge solutions.
The industry continues to evolve to support additional inputs for improving the location experience. Our products and intellectual property now support multiple constellations for A-GNSS, including: GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and BeiDou; Wi-Fi-based and Bluetooth-based positioning for WLAN, including, Wi-Fi RSSI (received signal strength indication) and Wi-Fi RTT (round-trip time) signals for indoor location; observed time difference of arrival positioning for LTE access (e.g. in rural and indoor areas); and third-party inertial sensors. The combination of these different location solutions is used to ensure accurate location availability in all areas.
Other Significant Technologies used in Cellular and Certain Consumer Electronic Devices and Networks
We have played a leading role in developing and/or acquired many of the other technologies used across the wireless system, such as cellular and certain consumer electronic devices (and not just what is embodied in the chipsets) and networks, including:
graphics and display processing functionality;
video coding based on the HEVC (high efficiency video codec) standard, which is being deployed to support 4K video and immersive media content;
audio coding, including EVS (enhanced voice services) and MPEG-H 3D Audio;
the latest version of 3GPP’s codec for multimedia use and for voice/speech use;
multimedia transport, including MPEG-DASH (Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP) enabling advanced multimedia experiences;
camera and camcorder functions;
operating system and user interface features;
machine learning platforms;
augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) features enabling new types of user experiences;
security and content protection systems for enhanced device security without compromising the user experience;
volatile (LP-DDR2, 3, 4) and non-volatile (eMMC) memory and related controllers;
power management systems for improved battery life and device charging; and
RFFE (radio frequency front-end) system products for improved signal performance and reduced power consumption, while simplifying the design for manufacturers to develop LTE multimode, multiband devices.
Acquisitions
NXP Semiconductors N.V. On October 27, 2016, we announced a definitive agreement (as amended on February 20, 2018 and April 19, 2018, the Purchase Agreement) under which Qualcomm River Holdings, B.V. (Qualcomm River Holdings), an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of QUALCOMM Incorporated, proposed to acquire NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NXP). Pursuant to the Purchase Agreement, Qualcomm River Holdings commenced a tender offer to acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of NXP. On July 26, 2018, we terminated the Purchase Agreement and paid NXP a termination fee of $2.0 billion in cash in accordance with the terms of the Purchase Agreement.
RF360 Holdings. On February 3, 2017, we completed the formation of a joint venture with TDK Corporation (TDK), under the name RF360 Holdings Singapore Pte. Ltd. (RF360 Holdings), to enable delivery of radio frequency front-end (RFFE) modules and radio frequency (RF) filters into fully integrated products for mobile devices and Internet of Things (IoT) applications, among others. The joint venture is owned 51% by Qualcomm Global Trading Pte. Ltd. (Qualcomm Global Trading), a Singapore corporation and wholly-owned subsidiary of ours, and 49% by EPCOS AG (EPCOS), a German wholly-owned subsidiary of TDK. Certain intellectual property, patents and filter and module design and manufacturing assets were carved out of existing TDK businesses and are owned by the joint venture, and certain assets were acquired directly by affiliates of ours. Qualcomm Global Trading has the option to acquire (and EPCOS has an option to sell)

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EPCOS’s interest in the joint venture for $1.15 billion in August 2019. The total purchase price was $3.1 billion. RF360 Holdings, which is included in our QCT segment, is a Singapore corporation with research and development and manufacturing and/or sales locations in the United States, Europe and Asia and its headquarters in Munich, Germany.
Operating Segments
We have three reportable segments. We conduct business primarily through QCT (Qualcomm CDMA Technologies) and QTL (Qualcomm Technology Licensing), while QSI (Qualcomm Strategic Initiatives) makes strategic investments. Revenues in fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016 for our reportable segments were as follows (in millions, except percentage data):
 
2018
 
2017
 
2016
QCT
$
17,282

 
$
16,479

 
$
15,409

As a percent of total
76
%
 
74
%
 
65
%
QTL
$
5,163

 
$
6,445

 
$
7,664

As a percent of total
23
%
 
29
%
 
33
%
QSI
$
100

 
$
113

 
$
47

As a percent of total

 
1
%
 

QCT Segment. QCT is a leading developer and supplier of integrated circuits and system software based on CDMA, OFDMA and other technologies for use in wireless voice and data communications, networking, application processing, multimedia and global positioning system products. QCT’s integrated circuit products are sold and its system software is licensed to manufacturers that use our products in mobile devices, tablets, laptops, data modules, handheld wireless computers and gaming devices, access points and routers, broadband gateway equipment, data cards and infrastructure equipment, other consumer electronics and automotive telematics and infotainment systems. Our Mobile Station Modem (MSM) integrated circuits, which include the Mobile Data Modem, Qualcomm® Single Chip and Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ mobile platforms and processors and LTE modems, perform the core baseband modem functionality in wireless devices providing voice and data communications, as well as multimedia applications and global positioning functions. In addition, our Snapdragon mobile platforms and processors provide advanced application, graphics and AI processing capabilities. Because of our experience in designing and developing CDMA- and OFDMA-based products, we design both the baseband integrated circuit and the supporting system, including the RF (Radio Frequency), PM (Power Management) and wireless connectivity (such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth) integrated circuits. This approach enables us to optimize the performance of the wireless device with improved product features and integration with the network system. QCT’s system software helps enable the other device components to interface with the integrated circuit products and is the foundation software enabling manufacturers to develop devices utilizing the functionality within the integrated circuits. We also provide support, including reference designs and tools, to assist our customers in reducing the time required to design their products and bring their products to market.
QCT offers a broad portfolio of products, including both wireless device and infrastructure integrated circuits, in support of CDMA- and OFDMA-based technologies. Our integrated circuit products are included in a broad range of devices, from low-tier, entry-level devices for emerging regions (including China), which may use our Qualcomm Reference Design (QRD) products, to premium-tier devices. In fiscal 2018, QCT shipped approximately 855 million MSM™ integrated circuits for wireless devices worldwide, compared to approximately 804 million and 842 million in fiscal 2017 and 2016, respectively.
Our modems are built to work with increasingly complex networks. They support the latest communication technologies and adapt to network conditions and user needs in real time to enable delivery of faster, smoother data and voice connections. Our 3G/4G modem roadmap delivers the latest network technologies across multiple product tiers and devices. This roadmap is the result of our years of research into emerging network standards and the development of chipsets that take advantage of these new standards, while maintaining backward compatibility with existing standards.
Each Snapdragon mobile platform and processor is a highly integrated, mobile optimized system on a chip incorporating our advanced technologies, including a Snapdragon modem for fast, reliable mobile broadband connectivity, a high performance central processing unit (CPU), digital signal processor (DSP), graphics processing unit (GPU), image signal processor, multimedia subsystems, including high fidelity audio, high-definition video and advanced imaging capabilities, our mobile security technology, and accurate location positioning engines. Our CPU cores are designed to deliver high levels of compute performance at low power, allowing manufacturers to design powerful, slim and power-efficient devices. Our Qualcomm® Adreno™ GPUs are also designed to deliver high quality graphics performance for visually rich 3D gaming and user interfaces. The heterogeneous compute architecture of our Snapdragon mobile platforms and processors is designed to

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help ensure that the CPU, DSP and GPU work efficiently together, each being utilized only when needed, which enhances the processing capacity, speed and efficiency of our Snapdragon mobile platforms and processors and the battery life of devices using our platforms and processors.
Our portfolio of RF products includes QFE (Qualcomm Front End) radio frequency front-end (RFFE) components that are designed to simplify the RF design for LTE multimode, multiband mobile devices, reduce power consumption and improve radio performance. Through our RF360 Holdings joint venture, QCT offers an expanded portfolio of RFFE products for mobile devices, infrastructure, automotive and IoT applications. Our technologies provide comprehensive RFFE product offerings with system level performance from the modem and transceiver to the antenna tuner that include power tracking, tuning systems, switching, multimode-multiband power amplification, low noise amplifiers, complex transmit and receive modules, in addition to discrete filtering applications across cellular, infrastructure and automotive markets.
Our wireless products also consist of integrated circuits and system software for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Bluetooth Smart, frequency modulation (FM) and near field communications (NFC), as well as technologies that support location data and services, including GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou and Galileo. Our Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and FM products have been integrated with the Snapdragon mobile platforms and processors to provide additional connectivity for mobile devices, tablets, laptops, consumer electronics and automotive telematics and infotainment systems. QCT also offers standalone Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Bluetooth Smart, applications processor and Ethernet products for mobile devices, consumer electronics, computers, IoT applications, other connected devices and automotive telematics and infotainment systems. Our networking products include Wi-Fi, Ethernet and Powerline chips, network processors and software. These products help enable home and business networks to support the growing number of connected devices, digital media, data services and other smart home applications.
QCT primarily utilizes a fabless production model, which means that we do not own or operate foundries for the production of silicon wafers from which our integrated circuits are made. Integrated circuits are die cut from silicon wafers that have completed the package assembly and test manufacturing processes. The semiconductor package supports the electrical contacts that connect the integrated circuit to a circuit board. Die cut from silicon wafers are the essential components of all of our integrated circuits and a significant portion of the total integrated circuit cost. We employ both turnkey and two-stage manufacturing models to purchase our integrated circuits. Under the turnkey model, our foundry suppliers are responsible for delivering fully assembled and tested integrated circuits. Under the two-stage manufacturing model, we purchase die in singular or wafer form from semiconductor manufacturing foundries and contract with separate third-party suppliers for manufacturing services such as wafer bump, probe, assembly and the majority of our final test requirements. RF360 Holdings uses certain internal fabrication facilities to manufacture RFFE modules and RF filter acoustic products, and its manufacturing operations consist of front-end and back-end processes. The front-end processes primarily take place at manufacturing facilities located in Germany and Singapore and involve the imprinting of substrate silicon wafers with the circuitry required for semiconductors to function (also known as wafer fabrication). The back-end processes involve the assembly, packaging and test of semiconductors to prepare RFFE modules and RF filter acoustic products for distribution. The back-end manufacturing facilities are located in China, Germany and Singapore.
Other than RF360 Holdings, we primarily rely on independent third-party suppliers to perform the manufacturing and assembly, and most of the testing, of our integrated circuits based primarily on our proprietary designs and test programs. Our suppliers also are responsible for the procurement of most of the raw materials used in the production of our integrated circuits. The primary foundry suppliers for our various digital, analog/mixed-signal, RF and PM integrated circuits are Global Foundries Inc., Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company and United Microelectronics Corporation. The primary semiconductor assembly and test suppliers are Advanced Semiconductor Engineering, Amkor Technology, Siliconware Precision Industries and STATSChipPAC. The majority of our foundry and semiconductor assembly and test suppliers are located in the Asia-Pacific region.
QCT’s sales are primarily made through standard purchase orders for delivery of products. QCT generally allows customers to reschedule delivery dates within a defined time frame and to cancel orders prior to shipment with or without payment of a penalty, depending on when the order is canceled. The industry in which QCT operates is intensely competitive. QCT competes worldwide with a number of U.S. and international designers and manufacturers of semiconductors. As a result of global expansion by foreign and domestic competitors, technological changes, lengthening replacement cycles for mobile devices, device manufacturer concentrations and the potential for further industry consolidation, we anticipate the industry to remain very competitive. We believe that the principal competitive factors for our products include performance, level of integration, quality, compliance with industry standards, price, time-to-market, system cost, design and engineering capabilities, new product innovation, growth and scaling of distribution channels and customer support. QCT also competes in both single- and multi-mode environments against alternative communications technologies including, but not limited to,

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GSM/GPRS/EDGE and TDMA. Additional competitive factors exist for QCT product offerings that have expanded into adjacent industry segments outside traditional cellular industries, including IoT and automotive, the latter of which is subject to long design-in time frames, long product life cycles and a high degree of regulatory and safety requirements, necessitating suppliers to the industry to comply with stringent qualification processes, very low defect rates and high reliability standards, all of which results in a significant barrier to entry and may result in increased costs.
QCT’s current competitors include, but are not limited to, companies such as Broadcom Limited, Cirrus Logic, Cypress Semiconductor Corporation, HiSilicon Technologies, Intel, Marvell Technology, Maxim Integrated Products, MediaTek, Microchip Technology Inc., Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd., Nordic Semiconductor, Nvidia, NXP Semiconductors N.V., Qorvo Inc., Realtek Semiconductor, Renesas Electronics Corporation, Samsung Electronics, Sequans Communications S.A., Skyworks Solutions Inc. and Spreadtrum Communications (which is controlled by Tsinghua Unigroup). QCT also faces competition from products internally developed by our customers, including some of our largest customers, and from some early-stage companies. Our competitors devote significant amounts of their financial, technical and other resources to develop and market competitive products and, in some cases, to develop and adopt competitive digital communication or signal processing technologies, and those efforts may materially and adversely affect us. Although we have attained a significant position in the industry, many of our current and potential competitors may have advantages over us that include, among others: motivation by our customers in certain circumstances to utilize their own internally-developed integrated circuit products, to use our competitors’ integrated circuit products and/or sell such products to others, including by bundling with other products, or to choose alternative technologies; lower cost structures and/or a willingness and ability to accept lower prices and lower or negative margins for their products, particularly in China; foreign government support of other technologies or competitors; better known brand names; ownership and control of manufacturing facilities and greater expertise in manufacturing processes; more extensive relationships with local distribution companies and original equipment manufacturers in certain geographic regions (such as China) and/or experience in adjacent industry segments outside traditional cellular industries (such as automotive and IoT); and/or a more established presence in certain regions.
QTL Segment. QTL grants licenses or otherwise provides rights to use portions of our intellectual property portfolio, which, among other rights, includes certain patent rights essential to and/or useful in the manufacture and sale of certain wireless products, including, without limitation, products implementing CDMA2000, WCDMA, CDMA TDD, LTE and/or 5G standards and their derivatives. We have historically licensed our cellular standard-essential patents together with other Qualcomm patents that may be useful to such licensed products because licensees typically have desired to obtain the commercial benefits of receiving such broad patent rights from us. However, we offer licenses to only our cellular standard-essential patents (including 3G, 4G and 5G) for both single mode and multi-mode devices worldwide. A number of our licensees have entered into standard-essential patent only agreements on a worldwide basis, and we expect more of our licensees may enter into such standard-essential patent only agreements in the future. Our licensees manufacture wireless products including mobile devices (also known as subscriber units, which include handsets), other consumer devices (e.g., tablets and laptops), machine-to-machine devices (e.g., telematics devices, meter reading devices), plug-in end user data modem cards, certain embedded modules for incorporation into end user products, infrastructure equipment required to establish and operate a network and equipment to test networks and subscriber units.
Since our founding in 1985, we have focused heavily on technology development and innovation. These efforts have resulted in a leading intellectual property portfolio related to, among other things, wireless technology. We have an extensive portfolio of United States and foreign patents, and we continue to pursue patent applications around the world. Our patents have broad coverage in many countries, including Brazil, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, the United States and countries in Europe and elsewhere. A substantial portion of our patents and patent applications relate to digital wireless communications technologies, including patents that are essential or may be important to the commercial implementation of CDMA2000, WCDMA (UMTS), TD-SCDMA, TD-CDMA (Time Division CDMA), OFDMA-based LTE and OFDMA-based 5G products. Our patent portfolio is the most widely and extensively licensed in the industry, with more than 300 licensees. Additionally, we have a substantial patent portfolio related to key technologies used in communications and other devices and/or related services, some of which were developed in industry standards development bodies. These include certain video codecs, audio codecs, Wi-Fi, memory interfaces, wireless power, GPS and positioning, broadcast and streaming protocols, and short-range communication functionalities, including NFC and Bluetooth. Our patents cover a wide range of technologies across the entire wireless system, including the device (handsets and other wireless devices) and not just what is embodied in the chipsets. Over the years, a number of companies have challenged our patent position, but companies in the mobile communications industry generally recognize that any company seeking to develop, manufacture and/or sell subscriber units or infrastructure equipment that use CDMA-based and/or OFDMA-based technologies will require a license or other rights to use our patents.
We have licensed or otherwise provided rights to use our patents to hundreds of companies on industry-accepted terms. Unlike some other companies in our industry that hold back certain key technologies, we offer companies substantially our

12


entire patent portfolio for use in cellular subscriber devices and cell site infrastructure equipment. Our strategy to make our patented technologies broadly available has been a catalyst for industry growth, helping to enable a wide range of companies offering a broad array of wireless products and features while increasing the capabilities of and/or driving down average and low-end selling prices for 3G handsets and other wireless devices. By licensing or otherwise providing rights to use our patents to a wide range of equipment manufacturers, encouraging innovative applications, supporting equipment manufacturers with integrated chipset and software products and focusing on improving the efficiency of the airlink for wireless operators, we have helped 3G CDMA evolve and grow and reduced device pricing, all at a faster pace than the 2G (second generation) technologies such as GSM that preceded it.
Upon the initial deployment of OFDMA-based networks, the products implementing such technologies generally have been multimode and implement CDMA-based technologies. The licenses granted under our existing CDMA license agreements generally cover multimode CDMA/OFDMA (3G/4G) devices, and our licensees are obligated to pay royalties under their CDMA license agreements for such devices. Further, the majority of the leading handset and other wireless device companies (including Huawei, LG, Microsoft, Oppo, Samsung, Sony, vivo, Xiaomi and ZTE) have royalty-bearing licenses under our patent portfolio for use in LTE or other OFDMA-based products that do not implement any CDMA-based standards. As opportunities arise, we are expanding licenses granted under existing agreements to include 5G technologies through Release 15, both for multimode (i.e. 3G/4G/5G) devices as well as single mode 5G devices. In addition, new license agreements will include 5G technologies through Release 15 as a standard offering.
Standards bodies have been informed that we hold patents that might be essential for all 3G standards that are based on CDMA. We have committed to such standards bodies that we will offer to license our essential patents for these CDMA standards consistent with our commitments to those bodies. We have also informed standards bodies that we hold patents and pending patent applications that are potentially essential for LTE standards, including FDD and TDD versions and have committed to offer to license our essential patents for these LTE standards consistent with our commitments to those bodies. We have informed standards bodies that we hold patents and pending patent applications that are potentially essential for 5G technologies and have committed to offer to license our essential patents for these 5G standards consistent with our commitments to those bodies. We have made similar commitments with respect to certain other technologies implemented in industry standards.
QTL licensing revenues include license fees and royalties based on sales by licensees of products incorporating or using our intellectual property. License fees are fixed amounts paid in one or more installments. Royalties are generally based upon a percentage of the wholesale (i.e., licensee’s) selling price of complete licensed products, net of certain permissible deductions (including transportation, insurance, packing costs and other items). We broadly provide per unit royalty caps that apply to certain categories of complete wireless devices, namely smartphones, tablets and laptops, which effectively provide for a maximum royalty amount per device. Revenues generated from royalties are subject to quarterly and annual fluctuations. The vast majority of QTL revenues have been generated through our licensees’ sales of CDMA2000-based, WCDMA-based and LTE-based products (including 3G and 4G multi-mode devices), such as feature phones and smartphones. We have invested and continue to invest in both the acquisition and development of OFDMA technology and intellectual property and have generated the industry leading patent portfolio applicable to LTE, LTE Advanced and LTE Advanced Pro. Additionally, we have invested and continue to invest in the development of 5G which heavily leverages 3G and 4G technologies. Nevertheless, we face competition in the development of intellectual property for future generations of digital wireless communications technologies and services.
Separate and apart from licensing manufacturers of wireless devices and network equipment, we have entered into certain arrangements with competitors of our QCT segment, such as Broadcom Limited. A principal purpose of these arrangements is to provide our QCT segment and the counterparties certain freedom of operation with respect to each party’s integrated circuits business. In every case, these agreements expressly reserve the right for QTL to seek royalties from the customers of such integrated circuit suppliers with respect to such suppliers’ customers’ sales of CDMA-, WCDMA- and OFDMA-based wireless devices into which such suppliers’ integrated circuits are incorporated.
Our license agreements also may provide us with rights to use certain of our licensees’ technology and intellectual property to manufacture and sell certain components (e.g., Application-Specific Integrated Circuits) and related software, subscriber units and/or infrastructure equipment.
We are currently subject to various governmental investigations and private legal proceedings challenging our patent licensing practices, which may require us to change our patent licensing practices as described more fully in this Annual Report in “Part I, Item 1A. Risk Factors” under the heading “Changes in our patent licensing practices, whether due to governmental investigations, private legal proceedings challenging those practices or otherwise, could adversely impact our business and results of operations” and in “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, Note 7. Commitments and Contingencies.”

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QSI Segment. QSI makes strategic investments that are focused on opening new or expanding opportunities for our technologies and supporting the design and introduction of new products and services (or enhancing existing products or services) for voice and data communications and new industry segments. Many of these strategic investments are in early-stage companies in a variety of industries, including, but not limited to, automotive, IoT, mobile, data center and healthcare. Investments primarily include non-marketable equity instruments, which generally are recorded using the cost method or the equity method, and convertible debt instruments, which are recorded at fair value. In addition, QSI segment results include revenues and related costs associated with development contracts with one of our equity method investees. As part of our strategic investment activities, we intend to pursue various exit strategies for each of our QSI investments in the foreseeable future.
Other Businesses. Nonreportable segments include our cyber security solutions, mobile health, small cells and other wireless technology and service initiatives. Our nonreportable segments develop and sell products and services that include, but are not limited to: products and services for mobile health; license of chipset technology and products and services for use in data centers; products designed for implementation of small cells to address the challenge of meeting the increased demand for mobile data; development, other services and related products to U.S. government agencies and their contractors; and software products and content and push-to-talk enablement services to wireless operators.
Additional information regarding our operating segments is provided in this Annual Report in “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, Note 8. Segment Information.” Information regarding seasonality is provided in this Annual Report in “Part II, Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in the “Our Business and Operating Segments” section under the heading “Seasonality.”
Restructuring Plans
In the second quarter of fiscal 2018, we announced a Cost Plan designed to align our cost structure to our long-term margin targets. As part of this plan, we have initiated and continue to execute on a series of targeted actions across our businesses to reduce annual costs by $1 billion, excluding incremental costs resulting from any future acquisition of a business. We expect these cost reductions to be fully captured in fiscal 2019.
In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015, we announced a Strategic Realignment Plan designed to improve execution, enhance financial performance and drive profitable growth as we worked to create sustainable long-term value for stockholders. As part of this, among other actions, we implemented a cost reduction plan, which included a series of targeted reductions across our businesses, particularly in QCT, and a reduction to our annual share-based compensation grants. Restructuring activities were initiated in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015, and the cost reduction initiatives were achieved by the end of fiscal 2016 and other activities under the plan were completed by the end of fiscal 2017.
Additional information regarding our Cost Plan and Strategic Realignment Plan is provided in this Annual Report in “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, Note 10. Restructuring Plans.”
Corporate Structure
We operate our businesses through our parent company, QUALCOMM Incorporated, and multiple direct and indirect subsidiaries. We have developed our corporate structure in order to address various legal, regulatory, tax, contractual compliance, operations and other matters. Substantially all of our products and services businesses, including QCT, and substantially all of our engineering, research and development functions, are operated by QUALCOMM Technologies, Inc. (QTI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of QUALCOMM Incorporated, and QTI’s subsidiaries. QTL is operated by QUALCOMM Incorporated, which owns the vast majority of our patent portfolio. Neither QTI nor any of its subsidiaries has any right, power or authority to grant any licenses or other rights under or to any patents owned by QUALCOMM Incorporated.
Revenue Concentrations and Significant Customers
Revenues in fiscal 2018 and 2017 were negatively impacted by our continued dispute with Apple Inc. and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd./Foxconn, its affiliates and other suppliers to Apple. We did not record any revenues in fiscal 2018 or the third or fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 for royalties due on sales of Apple’s products.
A small number of customers/licensees historically have accounted for a significant portion of our consolidated revenues. In fiscal 2018, revenues from Samsung Electronics, Xiaomi Corporation and suppliers to Apple Inc. each comprised more than 10% of consolidated revenues. Combined revenues from GuangDong OPPO Mobile Telecommunications Corp. Ltd. and vivo Communication Technology Co., Ltd., and their respective affiliates, also comprised more than 10% of consolidated revenues in fiscal 2018 and 2017. In fiscal 2017 and 2016, revenues from Samsung Electronics and suppliers to Apple Inc. each comprised more than 10% of consolidated revenues.

14


Research and Development
The communications industry is characterized by rapid technological change, evolving industry standards and frequent new product introductions, requiring a continuous effort to enhance existing products and technologies and to develop new products and technologies. We have significant engineering resources, including engineers with substantial expertise in CDMA, OFDMA and a broad range of other technologies. Using these engineering resources, we expect to continue to invest in research and development in a variety of ways in an effort to extend the demand for our products, and to leverage that research and development in adjacent industry segments outside of traditional cellular industries (such as automotive, IoT and networking), including continuing the development of CDMA, OFDMA and other technologies (such as RFFE), developing alternative technologies for certain specialized applications, participating in the formulation of new voice and data communication standards and technologies, and assisting in deploying digital voice and data communications networks around the world. Our research and development team has a demonstrated track record of innovation in voice and data communication technologies and application processor technology, among others.
We continue to invest significant resources towards advancements in 4G OFDMA-based technologies (including LTE) and 5G OFDMA-based technologies. We also engage in acquisitions and other transactions, such as joint ventures, to meet certain technology needs, to obtain development resources or open or expand opportunities for our technologies and to support the design and introduction of new products and services (or enhancing existing products and services) for voice and data communications and new industry segments outside of the traditional cellular industry. Our most recent significant transaction was our RF360 Holdings joint venture with TDK Corporation.
We make investments to provide our integrated circuit customers with chipsets designed on leading-edge technology nodes that combine multiple technologies for use in consumer devices (e.g., smartphones, tablets and laptops), consumer electronics and other products (e.g., access points and routers, data cards and infrastructure equipment). In addition to 3G and 4G LTE technologies, our chipsets support other wireless and wired connectivity technologies, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Ethernet, GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo and Powerline communication. Our integrated chipsets often include multiple technologies, including advanced multimode modems, application processors and graphics engines, as well as the tools to connect these diverse technologies. We continue to support Android, Windows and other mobile client software environments in our chipsets.
We develop on our own, and with our partners, innovations that are integrated into our product portfolio to further expand the opportunity for wireless communications and enhance the value of our products and services. These innovations are expected to enable our customers to improve the performance or value of their existing services, offer these services more affordably and introduce revenue-generating broadband data services ahead of their competition.
We have research and development centers in various locations throughout the world that support our global development activities and ongoing efforts to develop and/or advance 4G, 5G and a broad range of other technologies. We continue to use our substantial engineering resources and expertise to develop new technologies, applications and services and make them available to licensees to help grow the communications industry and generate new or expanded licensing opportunities.
We also make investments in opportunities that leverage our existing technical and business expertise to deploy new and expanded product areas, such as RFFE, and enter into adjacent industry segments, such as products for automotive, IoT (including the connected home, smart cities, wearables, voice and music and robotics), networking, computing and AI, such as machine learning, among others.
Sales and Marketing
Sales and marketing activities of our operating segments are discussed under Operating Segments. Other marketing activities include public relations, advertising, digital marketing and social media, participation in technical conferences and trade shows, development of business cases and white papers, competitive analyses, industry intelligence and other marketing programs, such as marketing development funds with our customers. Our Corporate Marketing department provides company information on our Internet site and through other channels regarding our products, strategies and technology to industry analysts and media.
Competition
Competition faced by our operating segments is discussed under Operating Segments. Competition in the communications industry throughout the world continues to increase at a rapid pace as consumers, businesses and governments realize the potential of wireless communications products and services. We have facilitated competition in the wireless communications industry by licensing our technologies to a large number of manufacturers. Although we have attained a significant position in the traditional cellular industry, many of our current and potential competitors may have

15


advantages over us that include, among others: motivation by our customers in certain circumstances to utilize their own internally-developed integrated circuit products, to use our competitors’ integrated circuit products and/or sell such products to others, including by bundling with other products, or to choose alternative technologies; lower cost structures and/or a willingness and ability to accept lower prices and lower or negative margins for their products, particularly in China; foreign government support of other technologies or competitors; better known brand names; ownership and control of manufacturing facilities and greater expertise in manufacturing processes; more extensive relationships with local distribution companies and original equipment manufacturers in certain geographic regions (such as China) and/or experience in adjacent industry segments outside traditional cellular industries (such as automotive and IoT); and/or a more established presence in certain regions. These relationships may affect customers’ decisions to purchase products or license technology from us. Accordingly, new competitors or alliances among competitors could emerge and rapidly acquire significant market positions to our detriment.
We expect competition to increase as our current competitors expand their product offerings and introduce new technologies and services in the future and as additional companies compete with our products or services based on 3G, 4G, 5G or other technologies. Although we intend to continue to make substantial investments in developing new products and technologies and improving existing products and technologies, our competitors may introduce alternative products, services or technologies that threaten our business. It is also possible that the prices we charge for our products and services may continue to decline as competition continues to intensify. See also the Risk Factor entitled “Our industry is subject to competition in an environment of rapid technological change that could result in decreased demand and/or declining average selling prices for our products and/or those of our customers and/or licensees.”
Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability
We strive to better our local and global communities through ethical business practices, socially empowering technology applications, educational and environmental programs and employee diversity and volunteerism.
Our Governance. We aim to demonstrate accountability, transparency, integrity and ethical business practices throughout our operations and interactions with our stakeholders.
Our Products. We strive to meet or exceed industry standards for product responsibility and supplier management.
Our Workplace. We endeavor to provide a safe and healthy work environment where diversity is embraced and various opportunities for training, growth and advancement are encouraged for all employees.
Our Community. We have strategic relationships with a wide range of local organizations and programs that develop and strengthen communities worldwide.
Our Environment. We aim to expand our operations while minimizing our carbon footprint, conserving water and reducing waste.
Qualcomm® Wireless Reach™. We invest in strategic programs that foster entrepreneurship, aid in public safety, enhance delivery of health care, enrich teaching and learning and improve environmental sustainability through the use of advanced wireless technologies.
Employees
At September 30, 2018, we employed approximately 35,400 full-time, part-time and temporary employees, including employees from our RF360 Holdings consolidated joint venture. During fiscal 2018, the number of employees decreased by approximately 2,400 from 37,800 at September 24, 2017 primarily due to actions taken under our Cost Plan.
Available Information
Our Internet address is www.qualcomm.com. There we make available, free of charge, our annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and any amendments to those reports, as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). We also make available on our Internet site public financial information for which a report is not required to be filed with or furnished to the SEC. Our SEC reports and other financial information can be accessed through the investor relations section of our Internet site. The information found on our Internet site is not part of this or any other report we file with or furnish to the SEC.

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Executive Officers
Our executive officers (and their ages at September 30, 2018) are as follows:
Steve Mollenkopf, age 49, has served as Chief Executive Officer since March 2014 and as a director since December 2013. He served as Chief Executive Officer-elect and President from December 2013 to March 2014 and as President and Chief Operating Officer from November 2011 to December 2013. In addition, he served as Executive Vice President and Group President from September 2010 to November 2011 and as Executive Vice President and President, QCT from August 2008 to September 2010. Mr. Mollenkopf joined Qualcomm in 1994 as an engineer and throughout his tenure at Qualcomm has held several other technical and leadership positions. Mr. Mollenkopf served as a member of the board of directors of General Electric Company from November 2016 to April 2018. Mr. Mollenkopf holds a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech and an M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan.
Cristiano R. Amon, age 48, has served as President, Qualcomm Incorporated since January 2018. He served as Executive Vice President, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. (QTI, a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated) and President, Qualcomm CDMA Technologies (QCT) from November 2015 to January 2018. He served as Executive Vice President, QTI and Co-President, QCT from October 2012 to November 2015, Senior Vice President, Qualcomm Incorporated and Co-President, QCT from June 2012 to October 2012 and as Senior Vice President, QCT Product Management from October 2007 to June 2012. Mr. Amon joined Qualcomm in 1995 as an engineer and throughout his tenure at Qualcomm held several other technical and leadership positions. Mr. Amon holds a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from UNICAMP, the State University of Campinas, Brazil.
George S. Davis, age 60, has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer since March 2013. Mr. Davis is responsible for leading Finance, Information Technology and Investor Relations. Prior to joining Qualcomm, Mr. Davis was Chief Financial Officer of Applied Materials, Inc., a provider of manufacturing equipment, services and software to the semiconductor, flat panel display, solar photovoltaic and related industries, from November 2006 to March 2013. Mr. Davis held several other leadership positions at Applied Materials from November 1999 to November 2006. Prior to joining Applied Materials, Mr. Davis served 19 years with Atlantic Richfield Company in a number of finance and other corporate positions. Mr. Davis holds a B.A. degree in Economics and Political Science from Claremont McKenna College and an M.B.A. degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Brian T. Modoff, age 59, has served as Executive Vice President, Strategy and Mergers & Acquisitions since October 2015. Prior to joining Qualcomm, Mr. Modoff was a Managing Director in Equity Research at Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. (Deutsche Bank), a provider of financial services, from March 1999 to October 2015. Prior to joining Deutsche Bank, Mr. Modoff was a research analyst at several financial institutions from November 1993 to March 1999. Mr. Modoff holds a B.A. degree in Economics from California State University, Fullerton and a Master of International Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.
Alexander H. Rogers, age 61, has served as Executive Vice President and President, QTL since October 2016. He served as Senior Vice President and President, QTL from September 2016 to October 2016, Senior Vice President, Deputy General Counsel and General Manager, QTL from March 2016 to September 2016, Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel from October 2015 to March 2016 and Senior Vice President and Legal Counsel from April 2007 to October 2015. Mr. Rogers joined Qualcomm in January 2001 as an attorney and throughout his tenure at Qualcomm held several other leadership positions in the legal department. Prior to joining Qualcomm, Mr. Rogers was a partner at the law firm of Gray, Cary, Ware & Friedenrich (now DLA Piper). Mr. Rogers holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in English Literature from Georgetown University and a J.D. degree from Georgetown University Law Center.
Donald J. Rosenberg, age 67, has served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary since October 2007. He served as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Apple Inc. from December 2006 to October 2007. From May 1975 to November 2006, Mr. Rosenberg held numerous positions at IBM Corporation, including Senior Vice President and General Counsel. Mr. Rosenberg has served as a member of the board of directors of NuVasive, Inc. since February 2016 and is presently NuVasive’s lead independent director. Mr. Rosenberg holds a B.S. degree in Mathematics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and a J.D. degree from St. John’s University School of Law.
Michelle Sterling, age 51, has served as Executive Vice President, Human Resources since May 2015. She served as Senior Vice President, Human Resources from October 2007 to May 2015. Ms. Sterling joined Qualcomm in 1994 and throughout her tenure at Qualcomm has held several other human resources and leadership positions. Ms. Sterling holds a B.S. degree in Business Management from the University of Redlands.

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James H. Thompson, age 54, has served as Executive Vice President, Engineering, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and Chief Technology Officer since March 2017. He served as Executive Vice President, Engineering, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. from October 2012 to March 2017 and as Senior Vice President, Engineering, Qualcomm Incorporated from July 1998 to October 2012. Dr. Thompson joined Qualcomm in 1992 as a senior engineer and throughout his tenure at Qualcomm held several other technical and leadership positions. Dr. Thompson holds B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin.
Item 1A. Risk Factors
You should consider each of the following factors in evaluating our business and our prospects. The risks and uncertainties described below are not the only ones we face. Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us or that we currently consider immaterial may also negatively impact our business and results of operations and require significant management time and attention. In that case, the trading price of our common stock could decline. You should also consider the other information set forth in this Annual Report in evaluating our business and our prospects, including but not limited to our financial statements and the related notes, and “Part II, Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.”
Risks Related to Our Businesses
Our revenues depend on commercial network deployments, expansions and upgrades of CDMA, OFDMA and other communications technologies, including 5G; our customers’ and licensees’ sales of products and services based on these technologies; and customers’ demand for our products and services.
We develop, patent and commercialize technology and products based on CDMA, OFDMA and other communications technologies, which are primarily wireless. We depend on operators of wireless networks and our customers and licensees to adopt and/or implement the latest generation of these technologies for use in their networks, devices and services. We also depend on our customers and licensees to develop devices and services based on these technologies with value-added features to drive consumer demand for new 3G/4G and 3G/4G/5G multi-mode devices, as well as 3G, 4G and 5G single-mode devices, as well as to establish the selling prices for such devices. Further, we depend on the timing of our customers’ and licensees’ deployments of new devices and services based on these technologies. Increasingly, we also depend on operators of wireless networks, our customers and licensees and other third parties to incorporate these technologies into new device types and into industries and applications beyond traditional cellular communications, such as automotive, IoT (including the connected home, smart cities, wearables, voice and music and robotics), networking, computing and artificial intelligence (AI), such as machine learning, among others.
We have historically been successful during wireless technology transitions. The next generation of wireless technologies is 5G, which we expect will empower a new era of connected devices and will be utilized not only in handsets but in new device types, industries and applications beyond traditional cellular communications, as described above (see also Part I, Item 1, “Business” for a further description of 5G). We expect initial commercial deployments of 5G devices to begin in calendar 2019. We believe it is important that we be a leader in 5G technology development, standardization, intellectual property creation and licensing, and develop, commercialize and be a leading supplier of 5G integrated circuit products and services in order to sustain and grow our business long-term.
Our revenues and/or growth in revenues could be negatively impacted, our business may be harmed and our substantial investments in these technologies may not provide us an adequate return, if:
wireless operators and industries beyond traditional cellular communications deploy alternative technologies;
wireless operators delay next-generation network deployments, particularly 5G, expansions or upgrades and/or delay moving 2G customers to 3G, 3G/4G multi-mode, 4G or 5G wireless devices;
LTE, an OFDMA-based wireless technology, is not more widely deployed or further commercial deployment is delayed;
government regulators delay making sufficient spectrum available for 3G, 4G and 5G wireless technologies, including unlicensed spectrum and shared spectrum technologies, thereby restricting the ability of wireless operators to deploy or expand the use of these technologies;
wireless operators delay or do not drive improvements in 3G, 4G or 3G/4G multi-mode network performance and/or capacity;

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our customers’ and licensees’ revenues and sales of products, particularly premium-tier products, and services using these technologies, and average selling prices (ASPs) of such products, decline, do not grow or do not grow as anticipated due to, for example, the maturity of smartphone penetration in developed regions;
our intellectual property and technical leadership included in the 5G standardization effort is different than in 3G and 4G standards;
the standardization and/or deployment of 5G technologies is delayed;
we are unable to drive the adoption of our products and services into networks and devices, including devices beyond traditional cellular applications, based on CDMA, OFDMA and other communications technologies; and/or
consumers’ rates of replacement of smartphones and other computing devices decline, do not grow or do not grow as quickly as anticipated.
Our industry is subject to competition in an environment of rapid technological change that could result in decreased demand and/or declining average selling prices for our products and/or those of our customers and/or licensees.
Our products, services and technologies face significant competition. We expect competition to increase as our current competitors expand their product offerings or reduce the prices of their products as part of a strategy to attract new business and/or customers, as new opportunities develop, and as new competitors enter the industry. Competition in wireless communications is affected by various factors that include, among others: device manufacturer concentrations; vertical integration; growth in demand, consumption and competition in certain geographic regions; government intervention and/or support of national industries and/or competitors; evolving industry standards and business models; evolving methods of transmission of voice and data communications; increasing data traffic and densification of wireless networks; convergence and aggregation of connectivity technologies (including Wi-Fi and LTE) in both devices and access points; consolidation of wireless technologies and infrastructure at the network edge; networking and connectivity trends (including cloud services); use of licensed, shared and unlicensed spectrum; the evolving nature of computing (including demand for always on, always connected capabilities); the speed of technological change (including the transition to smaller geometry process technologies); value-added features that drive selling prices as well as consumer demand for new 3G, 3G/4G multi-mode, 4G and 5G devices; turnkey, integrated products that incorporate hardware, software, user interface, applications and reference designs; scalability; and the ability of the system technology to meet customers’ immediate and future network requirements. We anticipate that additional competitors will introduce products as a result of growth opportunities in wireless communications, the trend toward global expansion by foreign and domestic competitors, technological and public policy changes and relatively low barriers to entry in certain segments of the industry. Additionally, the semiconductor industry has experienced and may continue to experience consolidation, which could result in significant changes to the competitive landscape.
We expect that our future success will depend on, among other factors, our ability to:
differentiate our integrated circuit products with innovative technologies across multiple products and features (e.g., modem, radio frequency front-end (RFFE), graphics and/or other processors, camera and connectivity) and with smaller geometry process technologies that drive performance;
develop and offer integrated circuit products at competitive cost and price points to effectively cover both emerging and developed geographic regions and all device tiers;
drive the adoption of our integrated circuit products into the most popular device models and across a broad spectrum of devices, such as smartphones, tablets, laptops and other computing devices, automobiles, wearables and voice and music and other connected devices and infrastructure products;
maintain and/or accelerate demand for our integrated circuit products at the premium device tier, while increasing the adoption of our products in mid- and low-tier devices, in part by strengthening our integrated circuit product roadmap for, and developing channel relationships in, emerging regions, such as China and India, and by providing turnkey products, which incorporate our integrated circuits, for low- and mid-tier smartphones, tablets and laptops;
continue to be a leader in 4G and 5G technology evolution, including expansion of our LTE-based single-mode licensing program in areas where single-mode products are commercialized, and continue to innovate and introduce 4G and 5G turnkey, integrated products and services that differentiate us from our competition;
be a leader serving original equipment manufacturers, high level operating systems (HLOS) providers, operators, cloud providers and other industry participants as competitors, new industry entrants and other factors continue to affect the industry landscape;

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be a preferred partner (and sustain preferred relationships) providing integrated circuit products that support multiple operating system and infrastructure platforms to industry participants that effectively commercialize new devices using these platforms;
increase and/or accelerate demand for our semiconductor component products, including RFFE, and our wired and wireless connectivity products, including networking products for consumers, carriers and enterprise equipment and connected devices;
identify potential acquisition targets that will grow or sustain our business or address strategic needs, reach agreement on terms acceptable to us, close the transactions and effectively integrate these new businesses and/or technologies;
create standalone value and/or contribute to the success of our existing businesses through acquisitions, joint ventures and other transactions (and/or by developing customer, licensee, vendor, distributor and/or other channel relationships) in new industry segments and/or disruptive technologies, products and/or services (such as products for automotive, IoT (including the connected home, smart cities, wearables, voice and music and robotics), networking, computing and AI, such as machine learning, among others);
become a leading supplier of RFFE products, which are designed to address cellular radio frequency band fragmentation while improving radio frequency performance and assist original equipment manufacturers in developing multiband, multi-mode mobile devices;
be a leader in 5G technology development, standardization, intellectual property creation and licensing and develop, commercialize and be a leading supplier of 5G integrated circuit products and services; and/or
continue to develop brand recognition to effectively compete against better known companies in computing and other consumer driven segments and to deepen our presence in significant emerging regions.
Competition in any or all product tiers may result in the loss of certain business or customers, which would negatively impact our revenues, results of operations and cash flows. Such competition may also reduce average selling prices for our chipset products and/or the products of our customers and licensees. Certain of these dynamics are particularly pronounced in emerging regions where competitors may have lower cost structures and/or may have a willingness and ability to accept lower prices and/or lower or negative margins on their products (particularly in China). Reductions in the average selling prices of our chipset products, without a corresponding increase in volumes, would negatively impact our revenues, and without corresponding decreases in average unit costs, would negatively impact our margins. In addition, reductions in the average selling prices of our licensees’ products, unless offset by an increase in volumes, would generally decrease total royalties payable to us, negatively impacting our licensing revenues.
We compete with many different semiconductor companies, ranging from multinational companies with integrated research and development, manufacturing, sales and marketing organizations across a broad spectrum of product lines, to companies that are focused on a single application market segment or standard product, including those that produce products for automotive, IoT and networking applications. Most of these competitors compete with us with respect to some, but not all, of our businesses. Companies that promote standards that are neither CDMA- nor OFDMA-based (e.g., GSM) as well as companies that design integrated circuits based on CDMA, OFDMA, Wi-Fi or their derivatives are generally competitors or potential competitors. Examples (some of which are strategic partners of ours in other areas) include Advanced Micro Devices, Inc., Broadcom Limited, Cirrus Logic, Cypress Semiconductor Corporation, HiSilicon Technologies, Intel, Marvell Technology, Maxim Integrated Products, MediaTek, Microchip Technology Inc., Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd., Nordic Semiconductor, Nvidia, NXP Semiconductors N.V., Qorvo Inc., Realtek Semiconductor, Renesas Electronics Corporation, Samsung Electronics, Sequans Communications S.A., Skyworks Solutions Inc. and Spreadtrum Communications (which is controlled by Tsinghua Unigroup). Some of these current and potential competitors may have advantages over us that include, among others: motivation by our customers in certain circumstances to utilize their own internally-developed integrated circuit products, to use our competitors’ integrated circuit products and/or sell such products to others, including by bundling with other products, or to choose alternative technologies; lower cost structures and/or a willingness and ability to accept lower prices and lower or negative margins for their products, particularly in China; foreign government support of other technologies or competitors; better known brand names; ownership and control of manufacturing facilities and greater expertise in manufacturing processes; more extensive relationships with local distribution companies and original equipment manufacturers in certain geographic regions (such as China) and/or experience in adjacent industry segments outside traditional cellular industries (such as automotive and IoT); and/or a more established presence in certain regions.

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We derive a significant portion of our consolidated revenues from a small number of customers and licensees, which increasingly includes a small number of Chinese OEMs. If revenues derived from these customers or licensees decrease or the timing of such revenues fluctuates, our business and results of operations could be negatively affected.
Our QCT segment derives a significant portion of its revenues from a small number of customers, and we expect this trend to continue in the foreseeable future. Our industry is experiencing and may continue to experience concentration of device share among a few companies, particularly at the premium tier, contributing to this trend. Chinese OEMs continue to grow their device share in China and are increasing their device share in regions outside of China, and we derive a significant and increasing portion of our revenues from a small number of these OEMs.
In addition, certain of our largest integrated circuit customers develop their own integrated circuit products, which they have in the past chosen to utilize in certain of their devices, and may in the future choose to utilize in certain (or all) of their devices, rather than our products (and/or sell their integrated circuit products to third parties in competition with us). Also, Apple, which has historically been one of our largest customers, now utilizes products of one of our competitors in many of their devices rather than our products, is solely utilizing one or more or our competitor’s products in its next smartphone launch, and may continue to use our competitors’ products rather than our products in the future.
The loss of any one of our significant customers, a reduction in the purchases of our products by such customers or the cancelation of significant purchases by any of these customers, whether due to the use of their own integrated circuit products, our competitors’ integrated circuit products or otherwise, would reduce our revenues and could harm our ability to achieve or sustain expected results of operations, and a delay of significant purchases, even if only temporary, would reduce our revenues in the period of the delay. Any such reduction in revenues would also impact our cash resources available for other purposes, such as research and development. Further, the concentration of device share among a few companies, and the corresponding purchasing power of these companies, may result in lower prices for our products which, if not accompanied by a sufficient increase in the volume of purchases of our products, could have an adverse effect on our revenues and margins. In addition, the timing and size of purchases by our significant customers may be impacted by the timing of such customers’ new or next generation product introductions, over which we have no control, and the timing and/or success of such introductions may cause our revenues and results of operations to fluctuate. Accordingly, if current industry dynamics and concentrations continue, our QCT segment’s revenues will continue to depend largely upon, and be impacted by, future purchases, and the timing and size of any such future purchases, by these significant customers.
Further, Apple purchases our Mobile Data Modem (MDM) products, which do not include our integrated application processor technology, and which have lower revenue and margin contributions than our combined modem and application processor products. To the extent Apple takes device share from our other customers who purchase our integrated modem and application processor products, our revenues and margins may be negatively impacted.
Further, companies that develop HLOS for devices, including leading technology companies, now sell their own devices. If we fail to effectively partner or continue partnering with these companies, or with their partners or customers, they may decide not to purchase (either directly or through their contract manufacturers), or to reduce or discontinue their purchases of, our integrated circuit products.
In addition, there has been and continues to be litigation among certain of our customers and other industry participants, and the potential outcomes of such litigation, including but not limited to injunctions against devices that incorporate our products and/or intellectual property, or rulings on certain patent law or patent licensing issues that create new legal precedent, could impact our business, particularly if such action impacts one of our larger customers.
Although we have more than 300 licensees, our QTL segment derives a significant portion of its revenues from a limited number of licensees, which increasingly includes a small number of Chinese OEMs. In the event that one or more of our significant licensees fail to meet their reporting and/or payment obligations, or we are unable to renew or modify one or more of such license agreements, including standard-essential patent only license agreements, under similar terms, our revenues, results of operations and cash flows would be adversely impacted. Moreover, the future growth and success of our core licensing business will depend in part on the ability of our licensees to develop, introduce and deliver high-volume products that achieve and sustain customer acceptance. We have no control over the product development, sales efforts or pricing of products by our licensees, and our licensees might not be successful. Reductions in the average selling prices of wireless devices sold by our licensees, without a sufficient increase in the volumes of such devices sold, would generally have an adverse effect on our licensing revenues. Such adverse impact may be muted by the per unit royalty caps that apply to certain categories of complete wireless devices, namely smartphones, tablets and laptops.
We derive a significant portion of our consolidated revenues from the premium-tier device segment. If sales of premium-tier devices decrease, and/or sales of our premium-tier integrated circuit products decrease, our results of operations could be negatively affected.

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We derive a significant portion of our revenues from the premium-tier device segment, and we expect this trend to continue in the foreseeable future. We have experienced, and expect to continue to experience, slowing growth in the premium-tier device segment due to, among other factors, lengthening replacement cycles in developed regions, where premium-tier smartphones are common; increasing consumer demand in emerging regions, particularly China and India, where premium-tier smartphones are less common and replacement cycles are on average longer than in developed regions and are continuing to lengthen; and/or a maturing premium-tier smartphone industry in which demand is increasingly driven by new product launches and/or innovation cycles.
In addition, as discussed in the prior risk factor, our industry is experiencing concentration of device share among a few companies at the premium tier, which gives them significant supply chain leverage. Further, those companies may utilize their own internally-developed integrated circuit products, or our competitors’ integrated circuit products, rather than our products in all or a portion of their devices. These dynamics may result in lower prices for and/or reduced sales of our premium-tier integrated circuit products.
A reduction in sales of premium-tier devices, or a reduction in sales of our premium-tier integrated circuit products (which have a higher revenue and margin contribution than our lower-tier integrated circuit products), may reduce our revenues and margins and may harm our ability to achieve or sustain expected financial results. Any such reduction in revenues would also impact our cash resources available for other purposes, such as research and development.
Efforts by some communications equipment manufacturers or their customers to avoid paying fair and reasonable royalties for the use of our intellectual property may require the investment of substantial management time and financial resources and may result in legal decisions and/or actions by governments, courts, regulators or agencies, Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) or other industry organizations that harm our business.
From time to time, companies initiate various strategies to attempt to renegotiate, mitigate and/or eliminate their need to pay royalties to us for the use of our intellectual property. These strategies have included: (i) litigation, often alleging infringement of patents held by such companies, patent misuse, patent exhaustion, patent invalidity and/or unenforceability of our patents and/or licenses, that we do not license our patents on fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory (FRAND) terms, or some form of unfair competition or competition law violation; (ii) taking positions contrary to our understanding of their contracts with us; (iii) appeals to governmental authorities; (iv) collective action, including working with wireless operators, standards bodies, other like-minded companies and other organizations, on both formal and informal bases, to adopt intellectual property policies and practices that could have the effect of limiting returns on intellectual property innovations; (v) lobbying governmental regulators and elected officials for the purpose of seeking the reduction of royalty rates or the base on which royalties are calculated, of seeking to impose some form of compulsory licensing and/or of weakening a patent holder’s ability to enforce its rights or obtain a fair return for such rights; and (vi) licensees using various strategies to attempt to shift their royalty obligation to their suppliers that results in lowering the wholesale (i.e., licensee’s) selling price on which the royalty is calculated.
In addition, certain licensees have disputed, underreported, underpaid, not reported and/or not paid royalties owed to us under their license agreements or reported to us in a manner that is not in compliance with their contractual obligations, and certain companies have yet to enter into or have delayed entering into or renewing license agreements with us for their use of our intellectual property, and licensees and/or companies may continue to do so in the future. The fact that one or more licensees dispute, underreport, underpay, do not report and/or do not pay royalties owed to us may encourage other licensees to take similar actions and may encourage other licensees or unlicensed companies to delay entering into, or not enter into, new license agreements. Further, to the extent such licensees and/or companies increase their device share, the negative impact of their underreporting, underpayment, non-payment and/or non-reporting on our business, revenues, results of operations, financial condition and/or cash flows will be exacerbated.
We are currently subject to various litigation and governmental investigations and/or proceedings, some of which have arisen and may continue to arise out of the strategies described above. Certain legal matters are described more fully in this Annual Report in “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, Note 7. Commitments and Contingencies.” The unfavorable resolution of one or more of these matters could have a material adverse effect on our business, revenues, results of operations, financial condition and/or cash flows. Depending on the type of matter, various remedies that could result from an unfavorable resolution include, among others, injunctions, monetary damages or fines or other orders to pay money, the issuance of orders to cease certain conduct and/or modify our business practices, such as requiring us to reduce our royalty rates, reduce the base on which our royalties are calculated, grant patent licenses to chipset manufacturers and/or modify or renegotiate our existing license agreements, and/or determinations that all or portions of our license agreements are invalid or unenforceable. In addition, decisions or orders arising out of governmental investigations or proceedings could require us to renegotiate, or could encourage or embolden our licensees to demand to renegotiate, their license agreements with us (which could be on terms that are less favorable to us than existing terms), and such licensees may underreport, underpay, not report

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or not pay royalties owed to us pending the conclusion of such negotiations. Further, a governmental body in a particular country or region may assert, and may be successful in imposing, remedies with effects that extend beyond the borders of that country or region. See also the Risk Factor entitled “Changes in our patent licensing practices, whether due to governmental investigations, private legal proceedings challenging those practices or otherwise, could adversely impact our business and results of operations.”
In addition, in connection with our participation in SDOs, we, like other patent owners, generally have made contractual commitments to such organizations to license those of our patents that would necessarily be infringed by standard-compliant products as set forth in those commitments. Some manufacturers and users of standard-compliant products advance interpretations of these commitments that are adverse to our licensing business, including interpretations that would limit the amount of royalties that we could collect on the licensing of our patent portfolio.
Further, some companies or entities have proposed significant changes to existing intellectual property policies for implementation by SDOs and other industry organizations with the goal of significantly devaluing standard-essential patents. For example, some have put forth proposals which would require a maximum aggregate intellectual property royalty rate for the use of all standard-essential patents owned by all of the member companies to be applied to the selling price of any product implementing the relevant standard. They have further proposed that such maximum aggregate royalty rate be apportioned to each member company with standard-essential patents based upon the number of standard-essential patents held by such company. Others have proposed that injunctions not be an available remedy for infringement of standard-essential patents and/or have made proposals that could severely limit damage awards and other remedies by courts for patent infringement (e.g., by severely limiting the base upon which the royalty percentage may be applied). A number of these strategies are purportedly based on interpretations of the policies of certain SDOs concerning the licensing of patents that are or may be essential to industry standards and on our (and/or other companies’) alleged failure to abide by these policies.
Some SDOs, courts and governmental agencies have adopted and may in the future adopt some or all of these interpretations or proposals in a manner adverse to our interests, including in litigation to which we may not be a party.
We expect that such proposals, interpretations and strategies will continue in the future, and if successful, our business model would be harmed, either by limiting or eliminating our ability to collect royalties (or by reducing the royalties we can collect) on all or a portion of our patent portfolio, limiting our return on investment with respect to new technologies, limiting our ability to seek injunctions against infringers of our standard-essential patents, constraining our ability to make licensing commitments when submitting our technology for inclusion in future standards (which could make our technology less likely to be included in such standards) or forcing us to work outside of SDOs or other industry groups to promote our new technologies, and our revenues, results of operations and/or cash flows could be negatively impacted. In addition, the legal and other costs associated with asserting or defending our positions have been and continue to be significant. We assume that such challenges, regardless of their merits, will continue into the foreseeable future and will require the investment of substantial management time and financial resources.
Our business, particularly our licensing business, may suffer as a result of adverse rulings in government investigations or proceedings.
We are currently subject to various governmental investigations and/or proceedings, particularly with respect to our licensing business, and certain such matters are described more fully in this Annual Report in “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, Note 7. Commitments and Contingencies.” Key allegations in those matters include, among others, that we do not license our cellular standard-essential patents separately from our other patents, that we violate FRAND licensing commitments by refusing to grant licenses to chipset makers, that our royalty rates are too high and/or that the base on which our royalties are calculated should be something less than the wholesale (i.e., licensee’s) selling price of the applicable device (minus certain permitted deductions). The unfavorable resolution of one or more of these matters could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and/or cash flows. Depending on the type of matter, various remedies that could result from an unfavorable resolution include, among others, injunctions, monetary damages or fines or other orders to pay money, and/or the issuance of orders to cease certain conduct and/or modify our business practices, such as requiring us to reduce our royalty rates, reduce the base on which our royalties are calculated, grant patent licenses to chipset manufacturers and/or modify or renegotiate our existing license agreements, and/or determinations that all or portions of our license agreements are invalid or unenforceable. In addition, decisions or orders arising out of such governmental investigations or proceedings could require us to renegotiate, or could encourage or embolden our licensees to demand to renegotiate, their license agreements with us (which could be on terms that are less favorable to us than existing terms), and such licensees may underreport, underpay, not report or not pay royalties owed to us pending the conclusion of such negotiations. Further, a governmental body in a particular country or region may assert, and may be successful in imposing, remedies with effects that extend beyond the borders of that country or region. See also the Risk Factor entitled

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“Changes in our patent licensing practices, whether due to governmental investigations, private legal proceedings challenging those practices or otherwise, could adversely impact our business and results of operations.”
Changes in our patent licensing practices, whether due to governmental investigations, private legal proceedings challenging those practices or otherwise, could adversely impact our business and results of operations.
We are currently subject to various governmental investigations and private legal proceedings challenging our patent licensing practices as described more fully in this Annual Report in “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, Note 7. Commitments and Contingencies.” Key allegations in those matters include, among others, that we do not license our cellular standard-essential patents separately from our other patents, that we violate FRAND licensing commitments by refusing to grant licenses to chipset makers, that our royalty rates are too high and/or that the base on which our royalties are calculated should be something less than the wholesale (i.e., licensee’s) selling price of the applicable device (minus certain permitted deductions). We believe that the ultimate intent of these investigations and legal proceedings is to reduce the amount of royalties that licensees are required to pay to us for their use of our intellectual property.
We have historically licensed our cellular standard-essential patents together with our other patents that may be useful to licensed products because licensees typically have desired to obtain the commercial benefits of receiving such broad patent rights from us. However, we also have licensed only our cellular standard-essential patents to certain licensees who have requested such licenses. In addition, in connection with our resolution with the China National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), our standard practice in China since 2015 is to offer licenses to our 3G and 4G standard-essential Chinese patents for devices sold for use in China separately from our other patents.
In addition, we offer licenses to only our cellular standard-essential patents (including 3G, 4G and 5G) for both single mode and multi-mode devices worldwide. A number of our licensees have entered into standard-essential patent only agreements on a worldwide basis, and we expect more of our licensees may do so in the future. Our royalty rates for licenses to only our cellular standard-essential patents are lower than our royalty rates for licenses to substantially all of our patent portfolio. If more licensees choose a license to only our cellular standard-essential patents instead of a portfolio license than has historically been the case, our licensing revenues and earnings would be negatively impacted unless we were able to license our other patents at rates that offset all or a portion of any difference between the royalties previously received for licenses of substantially all of our patent portfolio as compared to licenses of only our cellular standard-essential patents and/or there was a sufficient increase in the overall volume of sales of devices upon which royalties are paid.
If we were required to grant patent licenses to chipset manufacturers (i.e., to implement a more complex, tiered licensing structure in which we license certain portions of our patent portfolio to chipset manufacturers and other portions to device manufacturers), we would incur additional transaction costs, which may be significant, and we could incur delays in recognizing revenues until license negotiations were completed. In addition, our licensing revenues and earnings would be negatively impacted if we were not able to obtain, in the aggregate, equivalent revenues under such a multi-level licensing structure.
If we were required to reduce the royalty rates we charge under our patent license agreements, our revenues, earnings and/or cash flows would be negatively impacted absent a sufficient increase in the volume of sales of devices upon which royalties are paid. Similarly, if we were required to reduce the base on which our royalties are calculated, our revenues, results of operations and/or cash flows would be negatively impacted unless there was a sufficient increase in the volume of sales of devices upon which royalties are paid and/or we were able to increase our royalty rates to offset the decrease in revenues resulting from such lower royalty base (assuming the absolute royalty dollars were below any relevant royalty caps).
To the extent that we were required to implement any of these new licensing practices by modifying or renegotiating our existing license agreements, we would incur additional transaction costs, which may be significant, and we could incur delays in recognizing revenues until license negotiations were completed. The impact of any such changes to our licensing practices could vary widely and by jurisdiction, depending on the specific outcomes and the geographic scope of such outcomes. In addition, if we were required to make modifications to our licensing practices in one jurisdiction, licensees and/or governmental agencies in other jurisdictions may attempt to obtain similar outcomes for themselves and/or for such other jurisdictions, as applicable.
The enforcement and protection of our intellectual property rights may be expensive, could fail to prevent misappropriation or unauthorized use of our intellectual property rights, could result in the loss of our ability to enforce one or more patents, and/or could be adversely affected by changes in patent laws, by laws in certain foreign jurisdictions that may not effectively protect our intellectual property rights and/or by ineffective enforcement of laws in such jurisdictions.

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We rely primarily on patent, copyright, trademark and trade secret laws, as well as nondisclosure and confidentiality agreements, international treaties and other methods, to protect our proprietary information, technologies and processes, including our patent portfolio. Policing unauthorized use of our products, technologies and proprietary information is difficult and time consuming. The steps we have taken have not always prevented, and we cannot be certain the steps we will take in the future will prevent, the misappropriation or unauthorized use of our proprietary information and technologies, particularly in foreign countries where the laws may not protect our proprietary intellectual property rights as fully or as readily as U.S. laws or where the enforcement of such laws may be lacking or ineffective. Some industry participants who have a vested interest in devaluing patents in general, or standard-essential patents in particular, have mounted attacks on certain patent systems, increasing the likelihood of changes to established patent laws. In the United States, there is continued discussion regarding potential patent law changes and current and potential future litigation regarding patents, the outcomes of which could be detrimental to our licensing business. The laws in certain foreign countries in which our products are or may be manufactured or sold, including certain countries in Asia, may not protect our intellectual property rights to the same extent as the laws in the United States. We expect that the European Union will adopt a unitary patent system in the next few years that may broadly impact that region’s patent regime. We cannot predict with certainty the long-term effects of any potential changes. In addition, we cannot be certain that the laws and policies of any country or the practices of any standards bodies, foreign or domestic, with respect to intellectual property enforcement or licensing or the adoption of standards, will not be changed in the future in a way detrimental to our licensing program or to the sale or use of our products or technologies.
We have had, and may in the future have, difficulty in certain circumstances in protecting or enforcing our intellectual property rights and/or contracts, including collecting royalties for use of our patent portfolio due to, among others: refusal by certain licensees to report and/or pay all or a portion of the royalties they owe to us; policies of foreign governments; challenges to our licensing practices under competition laws; adoption of mandatory licensing provisions by foreign jurisdictions (either with controlled/regulated royalties or royalty free); failure of foreign courts to recognize and enforce judgments of contract breach and damages issued by courts in the United States; and/or challenges before competition agencies to our licensing business and/or the pricing and integration of additional features and functionality into our chipset products. Certain licensees have disputed, underreported, underpaid, not reported and/or not paid royalties owed to us under their license agreements with us or reported to us in a manner that is not in compliance with their contractual obligations, and certain companies have yet to enter into or have delayed entering into or renewing license agreements for their use of our intellectual property, and such licensees and/or companies may continue to do so in the future. The fact that one or more licensees dispute, underreport, underpay, do not report and/or do not pay royalties owed to us may encourage other licensees to take similar actions and may encourage other licensees or unlicensed companies to delay entering into, or not enter into, new license agreements. Additionally, although our license agreements provide us with the right to audit the books and records of licensees, audits can be expensive, time consuming, incomplete and subject to dispute. Further, certain licensees may not comply with the obligation to provide full access to their books and records. To the extent we do not aggressively enforce our rights under our license agreements, licensees may not comply with their existing license agreements, and to the extent we do not aggressively pursue unlicensed companies to enter into license agreements with us for their use of our intellectual property, other unlicensed companies may not enter into license agreements. Similarly, we provide access to certain of our intellectual property and/or proprietary and/or confidential business information to our direct and indirect customers and licensees, who may wrongfully use such intellectual property and/or information and/or wrongfully disclose such intellectual property and/or information to third parties, including our competitors.
We have entered into litigation and/or arbitration in the past and may need to further litigate and/or arbitrate in the future to enforce our contract and/or intellectual property rights, protect our trade secrets or determine the validity and scope of proprietary rights of others. We are currently engaged in litigation matters related to protecting or enforcing our contract and/or intellectual property rights, and certain such matters are described more fully in this Annual Report in “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, Note 7. Commitments and Contingencies.” As a result of any such litigation and/or arbitration, we could lose our ability to enforce one or more patents, portions of our license agreements could be determined to be invalid or unenforceable (which may in turn result in other licensees either not complying with their existing license agreements and/or initiating litigation) and/or we could incur substantial costs. Any action we take to enforce our contract or intellectual property rights could be costly and could absorb significant management time and attention, which, in turn, could negatively impact our results of operations and/or cash flows. Further, even a positive resolution to our enforcement efforts may take time to conclude, which may reduce our revenues and cash resources available for other purposes, such as research and development, in the periods prior to conclusion. See also the Risk Factor entitled “Changes in our patent licensing practices, whether due to governmental investigations, private legal proceedings challenging those practices or otherwise, could adversely impact our business and results of operations.”
Our growth increasingly depends on our ability to extend our technologies, products and services into new and expanded product areas, such as RFFE, and adjacent industry segments and/or applications outside of traditional cellular

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industries, such as automotive, IoT and networking, among others. Our research, development and other investments in these new and expanded product areas and industry segments, and related technologies, products and services, as well as in our existing technologies, products and services and new technologies, such as 5G, may not generate operating income or contribute to future results of operations that meet our expectations.
Our industry is subject to rapid technological change, evolving industry standards and frequent new product introductions, and we must make substantial research, development and other investments, such as acquisitions, in new products, services and technologies to compete successfully. Technological innovations generally require significant research and development efforts before they are commercially viable. While we continue to invest significant resources toward advancements primarily in support of 4G- and 5G-based technologies, we also innovate across a broad spectrum of opportunities to deploy new and expanded products and enter into adjacent industry segments and/or applications by leveraging our existing technical and business expertise and/or through acquisitions.
In particular, our future growth significantly depends on new and expanded product areas, such as RFFE, and adjacent industry segments and/or applications, such as automotive, IoT (including the connected home, smart cities, wearables, voice and music and robotics), networking, computing and AI, such as machine learning, among others; our ability to develop leading and cost-effective technologies, products and services for new and expanded product areas and adjacent industry segments; and third parties incorporating our technology, products and services into devices used in these product areas, industry segments and/or applications. Accordingly, we intend to continue to make substantial investments in these new and expanded product areas, adjacent industry segments and/or applications, and in developing new products, services and technologies for these product areas, industry segments and/or applications. Our growth also depends significantly on our ability to develop 5G technologies, and to develop and commercialize products using 5G technologies.
However, our research, development and other investments in these new and expanded product areas, adjacent industry segments and/or applications, and corresponding technologies, products and services, as well as in our existing, technologies, products and services and new technologies, such as 5G, use of licensed, shared and unlicensed spectrum, and convergence of cellular and Wi-Fi, may not succeed due to, among other reasons: new industry segments, applications and/or consumer demand may not develop and/or grow as anticipated; our strategies and/or the strategies of our customers, licensees or partners may not be successful; improvements in alternate technologies in ways that reduce the advantages we anticipate from our investments; competitors’ technologies, products or services being more cost effective, having more capabilities or fewer limitations or being brought to market faster than our new technologies, products and services; and competitors having longer operating histories in industry segments that are new to us. We may also underestimate the costs of or overestimate the future revenues and/or margins that could result from these investments, and these investments may not, or may take many years to, generate material returns. Further, the automotive industry is subject to long design-in time frames, long product life cycles and a high degree of regulatory and safety requirements, necessitating suppliers to the industry to comply with stringent qualification processes, very low defect rates and high reliability standards, all of which results in a significant barrier to entry and increased costs.
If our new technologies, products and/or services are not successful, or are not successful in the time frame we anticipate, we may incur significant costs and/or asset impairments, our business may not grow as anticipated, our revenues and/or margins may be negatively impacted, and/or our reputation may be harmed.
There are numerous risks associated with our operation and control of the manufacturing facilities of our joint venture with TDK, RF360 Holdings, including a higher portion of fixed costs relative to a fabless model, environmental compliance and liability, exposure to natural disasters, timely supply of equipment and materials and manufacturing difficulties.
Manufacturing facilities are characterized by a higher portion of fixed costs relative to a fabless model. In less favorable industry environments, in particular, we may be faced with a decline in the utilization rates of our manufacturing facilities due to decreases in demand for our products. During such periods, our manufacturing facilities could operate at lower capacity levels, while the fixed costs associated with full capacity continue to be incurred, resulting in lower gross profit.
We are subject to many environmental, health and safety laws and regulations in each jurisdiction in which we operate our manufacturing facilities, which govern, among other things, emissions of pollutants into the air, wastewater discharges, the use and handling of hazardous substances, waste disposal, the investigation and remediation of soil and ground water contamination and the health and safety of our employees. We are also required to obtain and maintain environmental permits from governmental authorities for certain of our operations. We cannot make assurances that we will be at all times in compliance with such laws, regulations and permits. Certain environmental laws impose strict, and in certain circumstances, joint and several, liability on current or previous owners or operators of real property for the cost of investigation, removal or remediation of hazardous substances. Certain of these laws also assess liability on persons who arrange for hazardous

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substances to be sent to disposal or treatment facilities when such facilities are found to be contaminated. In addition, we could also be held liable for consequences arising out of human exposure to hazardous substances or other environmental damage.
We have manufacturing facilities in Asia and Europe. If tsunamis, flooding, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions or other natural disasters or geopolitical conflicts were to damage, destroy or disrupt our manufacturing facilities, it could disrupt our operations, delay new production and shipments of inventory or result in costly repairs, replacements or other costs. In addition, natural disasters or geopolitical conflicts may result in disruptions in transportation, distribution channels or supply chains, or significant increases in the prices of raw materials.
Our manufacturing operations depend on securing raw materials and other supplies in adequate quality and quantity in a timely manner from multiple suppliers, and in some cases, we rely on a limited number of suppliers, particularly in Asia. Accordingly, there may be cases where supplies of raw materials and other products are interrupted by disaster, accident or some other event at a supplier, supply is suspended due to quality or other issues, or there is a shortage of supply due to a rapid increase in demand, which could impact production and prevent us from supplying products to our customers. If the supply-demand balance is disrupted, it may considerably increase costs of manufacturing due to increased prices we pay for raw materials or fuel. From time to time, suppliers may extend lead times, limit the amounts supplied to us or increase prices due to capacity constraints or other factors. Additionally, supply of and/or costs of raw materials may be negatively impacted by trade protection policies, such as tariffs, and/or escalating trade tensions, particularly with countries in Asia. Further, it may be difficult or impossible to substitute one piece of equipment for another or replace one type of material with another. A failure by our suppliers to deliver our requirements could result in disruptions to our manufacturing operations.
Our manufacturing processes are highly complex, require advanced and costly equipment and must be continuously modified to improve yields and performance. Difficulties in the production process can reduce yields or interrupt production, and as a result, we may not be able to deliver products or do so in a timely, cost-effective or competitive manner. Further, to remain competitive and/or meet customer demand, we may be required to improve our facilities and process technologies and carry out extensive research and development, each of which may require investment of significant amounts of capital, and may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and/or cash flows.
The continued and future success of our licensing programs requires us to continue to evolve our patent portfolio, and our licensing programs may be impacted by the proliferation of devices in new industry segments such as automotive and IoT, as well as the need to extend license agreements that are expiring and/or to cover additional future patents.
We own a very strong portfolio of issued and pending patents related to 3G, 4G, 5G and other technologies. It is critical that we continue to evolve our patent portfolio, particularly in 5G. If we do not maintain a strong portfolio that is applicable to current and future standards, products and services, particularly 5G, our future licensing revenues could be negatively impacted.
In addition, new connectivity and other services are emerging that rely on devices that may or may not be used on traditional cellular networks, such as devices used in the IoT and automotive industry segments. We also seek to diversify and broaden our technology licensing programs to new industry segments in which we can utilize our technology leadership. Standards, even de facto standards, that develop as these technologies mature, in particular those that do not include a base level of interoperability, may impact our ability to obtain royalties at all or that are equivalent to those that we receive for products used in cellular communications. Although we believe that our patented technologies are essential and useful to the commercialization of such services, any royalties we receive may be lower than those we receive from our current licensing program.
Further, the licenses granted to and from us under a number of our license agreements include only patents that are either filed or issued prior to a certain date. As a result, there are agreements with some licensees where later patents are not licensed by or to us. Additionally, many of our license agreements (including essentially all of our agreements in China and our recent worldwide SEP only agreements) are effective for a specified term. In order to license or to obtain a license to such later patents or after the expiration of a specified term, or to receive royalties after the specified time period, we will need to extend or modify such license agreements or enter into new license agreements with such licensees. Accordingly, to the extent not renewed on their terms or by election for an additional (generally multi-year) period, if applicable, we will need to extend or modify such license agreements or enter into new license agreements with such licensees more frequently than we have done historically. We might not be able to renew those license agreements, or enter into new license agreements, in the future without affecting the material terms and conditions of our license agreements with such licensees, and such modifications or new agreements may negatively impact our revenues. If there is a delay in renewing a license agreement prior to its expiration, there would be a delay in our ability to recognize revenues related to that licensee’s product sales.

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Further, if we are unable to reach agreement on such modifications or new agreements, it could result in patent infringement litigation with such companies.
We depend on a limited number of third-party suppliers for the procurement, manufacture and testing of our products manufactured in a fabless production model. If we fail to execute supply strategies that provide technology leadership, supply assurance and low cost, our business and results of operations may be harmed. We are also subject to order and shipment uncertainties that could negatively impact our results of operations.
Our QCT segment primarily utilizes a fabless production model, which means that we do not own or operate foundries for the production of silicon wafers from which our integrated circuits are made. Other than the manufacturing facilities we now operate through our RF360 Holdings joint venture, we rely on independent third-party suppliers to perform the manufacturing and assembly, and most of the testing, of our integrated circuits. Our suppliers are also responsible for the procurement of most of the raw materials used in the production of our integrated circuits. We employ both turnkey and two-stage manufacturing models to purchase our integrated circuits. Under the turnkey model, our foundry suppliers are responsible for delivering fully assembled and tested integrated circuits. Under the two-stage manufacturing model, we purchase die in singular or wafer form from semiconductor manufacturing foundries and contract with separate third-party suppliers for manufacturing services such as wafer bump, probe, assembly and the majority of our final test requirements. The semiconductor manufacturing foundries that supply products to our QCT segment are primarily located in Asia, as are our primary warehouses where we store finished goods for fulfillment of customer orders. The following could have an adverse effect on our ability to meet customer demands and/or negatively impact our revenues, business operations, profitability and/or cash flows:
a reduction, interruption, delay or limitation in our product supply sources;
a failure by our suppliers to procure raw materials or to provide or allocate adequate manufacturing or test capacity for our products;
our suppliers’ inability to react to shifts in product demand or an increase in raw material or component prices;
our suppliers’ delay in developing leading process technologies, or inability to develop or maintain leading process technologies, including transitions to smaller geometry process technologies;
the loss of a supplier or the inability of a supplier to meet performance, quality or yield specifications or delivery schedules;
additional expense and/or production delays as a result of qualifying a new supplier and commencing volume production or testing in the event of a loss of or a decision to add or change a supplier; and/or
natural disasters or geopolitical conflicts, particularly in Asia, impacting our suppliers.
Additionally, supply of and/or costs of raw materials may be negatively impacted by trade protection policies, such as tariffs, and/or escalating trade tensions, particularly with countries in Asia. While we have established alternate suppliers for certain technologies, we rely on sole- or limited-source suppliers for certain products, subjecting us to significant risks, including: possible shortages of raw materials or manufacturing capacity; poor product performance; and reduced control over delivery schedules, manufacturing capability and yields, quality assurance, quantity and costs. To the extent we have established alternate suppliers, these suppliers may require significant levels of support to bring complex technologies to production. As a result, we may invest a significant amount of effort and resources and incur higher costs to support and maintain such alternate suppliers. Further, any future consolidation of foundry suppliers could increase our vulnerability to sole- or limited-source arrangements and reduce our suppliers’ willingness to negotiate pricing, which could negatively impact our ability to achieve cost reductions and/or which could increase our manufacturing costs. Our arrangements with our suppliers may obligate us to incur costs to manufacture and test our products that do not decrease at the same rate as decreases in pricing to our customers. Our ability, and that of our suppliers, to develop or maintain leading process technologies, including transitions to smaller geometry process technologies, and to effectively compete with the manufacturing processes and performance of our competitors, could impact our ability to introduce new products and meet customer demand, could increase our costs (possibly decreasing our margins) and could subject us to the risk of excess inventories. Our inability to meet customer demand due to sole- or limited-sourcing and/or the additional costs that we incur because of these or other supply constraints or because of the need to support alternate suppliers could negatively impact our business, our results of operations and/or cash flows.
Although we have long-term contracts with our suppliers, many of these contracts do not provide for long-term capacity commitments. To the extent we do not have firm commitments from our suppliers over a specific time period or for any specific quantity, our suppliers may allocate, and in the past have allocated, capacity to the production and testing of products

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for their other customers while reducing or limiting capacity to manufacture or test our products. Accordingly, capacity for our products may not be available when we need it or at reasonable prices. To the extent we do obtain long-term capacity commitments, we may incur additional costs related to those commitments and/or make non-refundable payments for capacity commitments that are not used.
One or more of our suppliers or potential alternate suppliers may manufacture CDMA- or OFDMA-based integrated circuits that compete with our products. Such suppliers could elect to allocate raw materials and manufacturing capacity to their own products and reduce or limit deliveries to us to our detriment.
In addition, we may not receive reasonable pricing, manufacturing or delivery terms from our suppliers. We cannot guarantee that the actions of our suppliers will not cause disruptions in our operations that could harm our ability to meet our delivery obligations to our customers or increase our cost of sales.
Additionally, we place orders with our suppliers using our and/or our customers’ forecasts of customer demand, which are based on a number of assumptions and estimates. As we move to smaller geometry process technologies, the manufacturing lead-time increases. As a result, the orders we place with our suppliers are generally only partially covered by commitments from our customers. If we, or our customers, overestimate customer demand that is not under a binding commitment from our customer, we may experience increased excess and/or obsolete inventory, which would negatively impact our results of operations.
Claims by other companies that we infringe their intellectual property could adversely affect our business.
From time to time, companies have asserted, and may again assert, patent, copyright and other intellectual property rights against our products or products using our technologies or other technologies used in our industry. These claims have resulted and may again result in our involvement in litigation. We may not prevail in such litigation given, among other factors, the complex technical issues and inherent uncertainties in intellectual property litigation. If any of our products or services were found to infringe another company’s intellectual property rights, we could be subject to an injunction or be required to redesign our products or services, which could be costly, or to license such rights and/or pay damages or other compensation to such other company. If we are unable to redesign our products or services, license such intellectual property rights used in our products or services or otherwise distribute our products (e.g., through a licensed supplier), we could be prohibited from making and selling such products or providing such services. In any potential dispute involving other companies’ patents or other intellectual property, our chipset foundries, semiconductor assembly and test providers and customers could also become the targets of litigation. We are contingently liable under certain product sales, services, license and other agreements to indemnify certain customers, chipset foundries and semiconductor assembly and test service providers against certain types of liability and/or damages arising from qualifying claims of patent infringement by products or services sold or provided by us, or by intellectual property provided by us to our chipset foundries and semiconductor assembly and test service providers. Reimbursements under indemnification arrangements could have an adverse effect on our results of operations and/or cash flows. Furthermore, any such litigation could severely disrupt the supply of our products and the businesses of our chipset customers and their customers, which in turn could hurt our relationships with them and could result in a decline in our chipset sales and/or reductions in our licensees’ sales, causing a corresponding decline in our chipset and/or licensing revenues. Any claims, regardless of their merit, could be time consuming to address, result in costly litigation, divert the efforts of our technical and management personnel or cause product release or shipment delays, any of which could have an adverse effect on our results of operations and cash flows.
We expect that we may continue to be involved in litigation and may have to appear in front of administrative bodies (such as the United States International Trade Commission) to defend against patent assertions against our products by companies, some of whom are attempting to gain competitive advantage or leverage in licensing negotiations. We may not be successful in such proceedings, and if we are not, the range of possible outcomes is very broad and may include, for example, monetary damages or fines or other orders to pay money, royalty payments, injunctions on the sale of certain of our integrated circuit products (and/or on the sale of our customers’ devices using such products) and/or the issuance of orders to cease certain conduct and/or modify our business practices. Further, a governmental body in a particular country or region may assert, and may be successful in imposing, remedies with effects that extend beyond the borders of that country or region. In addition, a negative outcome in any such proceeding could severely disrupt the business of our chipset customers and their wireless operator customers, which in turn could harm our relationships with them and could result in a decline in our worldwide chipset sales and/or a reduction in our licensees’ sales to wireless operators, causing corresponding declines in our chipset and/or licensing revenues.
Certain legal matters, including certain claims by other companies that we infringe their intellectual property, are described more fully in this Annual Report in “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, Note 7. Commitments and Contingencies.”

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We may engage in strategic acquisitions, transactions or make investments, or be unable to consummate planned strategic acquisitions, which could adversely affect our results of operations or fail to enhance stockholder value.
We engage in strategic acquisitions and other transactions, including joint ventures, and make investments, which we believe are important to the future of our business, with the goal of maximizing stockholder value. We acquire businesses and other assets, including patents, technology, wireless spectrum and other intangible assets, enter into joint ventures or other strategic transactions and purchase minority equity interests in or make loans to companies that may be private and early-stage. Our strategic activities are generally focused on opening or expanding opportunities for our technologies and supporting the design and introduction of new products and services (or enhancing existing products or services) for voice and data communications and new industry segments. Recent material transactions include our RF360 Holdings joint venture with TDK Corporation and our acquisition of CSR plc. Many of our strategic activities entail a high degree of risk and require the use of domestic and/or foreign capital, and investments may not become liquid for several years after the date of the investment, if at all. Our strategic activities may not generate financial returns or result in increased adoption or continued use of our technologies, products or services. We may underestimate the costs and/or overestimate the benefits, including product, revenue, cost and other synergies and growth opportunities that we expect to realize, and we may not achieve those benefits. In some cases, we may be required to consolidate or record our share of the earnings or losses of companies in which we have acquired ownership interests. In addition, we may record impairment charges related to our strategic activities. Any losses or impairment charges that we incur related to strategic activities will have a negative impact on our financial condition and results of operations, and we may continue to incur new or additional losses related to strategic assets or investments that we have not fully impaired or exited.
Achieving the anticipated benefits of business acquisitions, including joint ventures and other strategic investments in which we have management and operational control, depends in part upon our ability to integrate the businesses in an efficient and effective manner and achieve anticipated synergies, and we may not be successful in these efforts. Such integration is complex and time consuming and involves significant challenges, including, among others: retaining key employees; successfully integrating new employees, technology, products, processes, operations (including manufacturing operations), sales and distribution channels, business models and business systems; retaining customers and suppliers of the businesses; consolidating research and development and/or supply operations; minimizing the diversion of management’s attention from ongoing business matters; consolidating corporate and administrative infrastructures; and managing the increased scale, complexity and globalization of our business, operations and employee base. We may not derive any commercial value from associated technologies or products or from future technologies or products based on these technologies, and we may be subject to liabilities that are not covered by indemnification protection that we may obtain, and we may become subject to litigation. Additionally, we may not be successful in entering or expanding into new sales or distribution channels, business or operational models (including manufacturing), geographic regions, industry segments and/or categories of products served by or adjacent to the associated businesses or in addressing potential new opportunities that may arise out of the combination.
If we do not achieve the anticipated benefits of business acquisitions or other strategic activities, our business and results of operations may be adversely affected, and we may not enhance stockholder value by engaging in these transactions.
In fiscal 2018, we terminated our proposed acquisition of NXP since the acquisition had not been approved by the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) in China by the date specified in the acquisition agreement. As a result, we will not realize the benefits that we anticipated from the acquisition, including, but not limited to, increased revenues; accelerated revenue diversification; significantly expanded addressable markets and opportunities; accelerated entry into new industry segments and expansion in existing industry segments; new and expanded product offerings and technologies; accelerated expansion of sales and distribution channels; cost and other synergies; and earnings accretion from the acquisition. In addition, future acquisitions may now be more difficult, complex or expensive to the extent that our reputation for our ability to consummate acquisitions has been harmed. Further, if U.S./China trade relations remain strained, our ability to consummate any transaction that would require approval from SAMR may be severely impacted.
If we are unsuccessful in executing our cost plan, our business and results of operations may be adversely affected.
In the second quarter of fiscal 2018, we announced a cost plan designed to align our cost structure to our long-term margin targets. As part of this plan, we are implementing a series of targeted reductions across our businesses to reduce annual costs by $1 billion, excluding incremental costs resulting from any future acquisition of a business. We expect these cost reductions to be fully captured in fiscal 2019.
We cannot provide assurance that our cost plan will be successful, that anticipated cost savings will be realized, that our operations, business and financial results will improve and/or that these efforts will not disrupt our operations (beyond what is intended). Our ability to achieve the anticipated cost savings and other benefits within the expected time frames is subject

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to many estimates and assumptions, which are subject to significant economic, competitive and other uncertainties, some of which are beyond our control. Further, we may experience delays in the timing of these efforts and/or higher than expected or unanticipated costs in implementing them. Moreover, changes in the size, alignment or organization of our workforce could adversely affect employee morale and retention, relations with customers and business partners, our ability to develop and deliver products and services as anticipated and/or impair our ability to realize our current or future business and financial objectives. If we do not succeed in these efforts, if these efforts are more costly or time-consuming than expected, if our estimates and assumptions are not correct, if we experience delays or if other unforeseen events occur, our business and results of operations may be adversely affected.
We are subject to various laws, regulations, policies and standards. Our business may suffer as a result of existing, or new or amended, laws, regulations, policies or standards and/or our failure or inability to comply with laws, regulations, policies or standards.
Our business, products and services, and those of our customers and licensees, are subject to various laws and regulations globally, as well as government policies and the specifications of international, national and regional communications standards bodies. Compliance with existing laws, regulations, policies and standards, the adoption of new laws, regulations, policies or standards, changes in the interpretation of existing laws, regulations, policies or standards, changes in the regulation of our activities by a government or standards body and/or rulings in court, regulatory, administrative or other proceedings relating to such laws, regulations, policies or standards, including, among others, those affecting licensing practices, competitive business practices, the use of our technology or products, protection of intellectual property, trade and trade protection, including tariffs, foreign currency, investments or loans, spectrum availability and license issuance, adoption of standards, the provision of device subsidies by wireless operators to their customers, taxation, export control, privacy and data protection, environmental protection, health and safety, labor and employment, human rights, corporate governance, public disclosure or business conduct could have an adverse effect on our business and results of operations.
Government policies, particularly in China, that regulate the amount and timing of funds that may flow out of a country may impact the timing of our receipt of payments from our customers and/or licensees in such country, which may negatively impact our cash flows.
Delays in government approvals or other governmental activities that could result from, among others, a decrease in or a lack of funding for certain agencies or branches of the government and/or political changes, could result in our incurring higher costs, could negatively impact our ability to timely consummate strategic transactions and/or could have other negative impacts on our business and the businesses of our customers and licensees.
National, state and local environmental laws and regulations affect our operations around the world. These laws may make it more expensive to manufacture, have manufactured and sell products, and our costs could increase if our vendors (e.g., suppliers, third-party manufacturers or utility companies) pass on their costs to us. The imposition of tariffs on raw materials or our products could have a negative impact on our revenues and/or results of operations. We are also subject to laws and regulations impacting the manufacturing operations of our RF360 Holdings joint venture. See the Risk Factor entitled “There are numerous risks associated with our operation and control of the manufacturing facilities of our joint venture with TDK, RF360 Holdings, including a higher portion of fixed costs relative to a fabless model, environmental compliance and liability, exposure to natural disasters, timely supply of equipment and materials and manufacturing difficulties.”
Regulations in the United States require that we determine whether certain materials used in our products, referred to as conflict minerals, originated in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or an adjoining country (collectively, the Covered Countries), or were from recycled or scrap sources. Other countries and/or regions are expected to impose similar requirements in the future. The verification and reporting requirements, in addition to customer demands for conflict free sourcing, impose additional costs on us and on our suppliers and may limit the sources or increase the prices of materials used in our products. Further, if we are unable to determine that the conflict minerals used in our products do not directly or indirectly finance or benefit armed groups in the Covered Countries, we may face challenges with our customers that place us at a competitive disadvantage, and our reputation may be harmed. Similarly, other laws and regulations have been adopted or proposed that require additional transparency regarding the employment practices of our suppliers, and any failure to maintain responsible sourcing practices could also adversely affect our relationships with customers and our reputation.
Laws, regulations, policies and standards are complex and changing and may create uncertainty regarding compliance. Laws, regulations, policies and standards are subject to varying interpretations in many cases, and their application in practice may evolve over time. As a result, our efforts to comply may fail, particularly if there is ambiguity as to how they should be applied in practice. Failure to comply with any law, regulation, policy or standard may adversely affect our business, results

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of operations and/or cash flows. New laws, regulations, policies and standards or evolving interpretations of legal requirements may cause us to incur higher costs as we revise current practices, policies and/or procedures and may divert management time and attention to compliance activities.
Our use of open source software may harm our business.
Certain of our software and our suppliers’ software may contain or may be derived from “open source” software, and we have seen, and believe we will continue to see, an increase in customers requesting that we develop products, including software associated with our integrated circuit products, that incorporate open source software elements and operate in an open source environment, which, under certain open source licenses, may offer accessibility to a portion of a product’s source code and may expose related intellectual property to adverse licensing conditions. Licensing of such software may impose certain obligations on us if we were to distribute derivative works of the open source software. For example, these obligations may require us to make source code for the derivative works available to our customers in a manner that allows them to make such source code available to their customers or license such derivative works under a particular type of license that is different than what we customarily use to license our software. Developing open source products, while adequately protecting the intellectual property rights upon which our licensing business depends, may prove burdensome and time-consuming under certain circumstances, thereby placing us at a competitive disadvantage, and we may not adequately protect our intellectual property rights. Also, our use and our customers’ use of open source software may subject our products and our customers’ products to governmental scrutiny and delays in product certification, which could cause customers to view our products as less desirable than our competitors’ products. While we believe we have taken appropriate steps and employ adequate controls to protect our intellectual property rights, our use of open source software presents risks that could have an adverse effect on these rights and on our business.
Our stock price, earnings and the fair value of our investments are subject to substantial quarterly and annual fluctuations and to market downturns.
Our stock price and earnings have fluctuated in the past and are likely to fluctuate in the future. Factors that may have a significant impact on the market price of our stock and/or earnings include those identified throughout this Risk Factors section, volatility of the stock market in general and technology-based companies in particular, announcements concerning us, our suppliers, our competitors or our customers or licensees and variations between our actual financial results or guidance and expectations of securities analysts or investors, among others. Further, increased volatility in the financial markets and/or overall economic conditions may reduce the amounts that we realize in the future on our cash equivalents and/or marketable securities and may reduce our earnings as a result of any impairment charges that we record to reduce recorded values of marketable securities to their fair values.
In the past, securities class action litigation has been brought against companies following periods of volatility in the market price of their securities. Due to changes in our stock price, we are and may in the future be the target of securities litigation. Securities litigation could result in substantial uninsured costs and divert management’s attention and our resources. Certain legal matters, including certain securities litigation brought against us, are described more fully in this Annual Report in “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, Note 7. Commitments and Contingencies.”
There are risks associated with our indebtedness and our significant proposed stock repurchase program.
Our outstanding indebtedness and any additional indebtedness we incur, may have negative consequences on our business, including, among others:
requiring us to use cash to pay the principal of and interest on our indebtedness, thereby reducing the amount of cash available for other purposes;
limiting our ability to obtain additional financing for working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions, stock repurchases, dividends or other general corporate and other purposes;
limiting our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our business and our industry; and/or
increasing our vulnerability to interest rate fluctuations to the extent a portion of our debt has variable interest rates.
Our ability to make payments of principal and interest on our indebtedness depends upon our future performance, which is subject to general economic conditions, industry cycles and financial, business and other factors, including factors which negatively impact our cash flows, such as licensees withholding some or all of the royalty payments they owe to us or paying fines in connection with regulatory investigations, many of which are beyond our control. If we are unable to generate sufficient cash flow from operations in the future to service our debt, we may be required to, among other things: refinance or restructure all or a portion of our indebtedness; reduce or delay planned capital or operating expenditures; or sell selected assets. Such measures might not be sufficient to enable us to service our debt. In addition, any such refinancing, restructuring

32


or sale of assets might not be available on economically favorable terms or at all, and if prevailing interest rates at the time of any such refinancing and/or restructuring are higher than our current rates, interest expense related to such refinancing and/or restructuring would increase. If there are adverse changes in the ratings assigned to our debt securities by credit rating agencies, our borrowing costs, our ability to access debt in the future and/or the terms of such debt could be adversely affected.
We have implemented a stock repurchase program to repurchase up to $30 billion of our outstanding common stock. This stock repurchase program has significantly reduced and will continue to reduce the amount of cash that we have available to fund our operations, including research and development, working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions, investments, dividends and other corporate purposes; and increases our exposure to adverse economic, market, industry and competitive conditions and developments, and other changes in our business and our industry. In addition, this significant decrease in our cash reserves exacerbates the risks described above associated with our indebtedness.
Our business and operations could suffer in the event of security breaches of our information technology systems, or other misappropriation of our intellectual property or proprietary or confidential information.
Third parties regularly attempt to gain unauthorized access to our information technology systems, and most of such attempts are increasingly more sophisticated. These attempts, which might be related to industrial or other espionage, criminal hackers or state-sponsored intrusions, include trying to covertly introduce malware to our computers and networks, including those in our manufacturing operations, and impersonating authorized users, among others. Such attempts could result in the misappropriation, theft, misuse, disclosure or loss or destruction of the intellectual property, or the proprietary, confidential or personal information, of us or our employees, customers, licensees, suppliers or other third parties, as well as damage to or disruptions in our information technology systems. These threats are constantly evolving, thereby increasing the difficulty of successfully defending against them or implementing adequate preventative measures.
We seek to detect and investigate all security incidents and to prevent their recurrence but attempts to gain unauthorized access to our information technology systems may be successful, and in some cases, we might be unaware of an incident or its magnitude and effects. The misappropriation, theft, misuse, disclosure or loss or destruction of the intellectual property, or the proprietary, confidential or personal information, of us or our employees, customers, licensees, suppliers or other third parties could harm our competitive position, reduce the value of our investment in research and development and other strategic initiatives, cause us to lose business, damage our reputation, subject us to legal or regulatory proceedings, cause us to incur other loss or liability and/or otherwise adversely affect our business. We expect to continue to devote significant resources to the security of our information technology systems.
In addition, employees and former employees, in particular former employees who become employees of our competitors, customers or licensees, may misappropriate, use, publish or provide to our competitors, customers or licensees our intellectual property and/or proprietary or confidential business information. Similarly, we provide access to certain of our intellectual property and/or proprietary and/or confidential business information to our direct and indirect customers and licensees, who may wrongfully use such intellectual property and/or information and/or wrongfully disclose such intellectual property and/or information to third parties, including our competitors.
Potential tax liabilities could adversely affect our results of operations.
We are subject to income taxes in the United States and numerous foreign jurisdictions, including Singapore where our QCT segment’s non-U.S. headquarters is located. Significant judgment is required in determining our provision for income taxes. We regularly are subject to examination of our tax returns and reports by taxing authorities in the United States federal jurisdiction and various state and foreign jurisdictions, most notably in countries where we earn a routine return and the tax authorities believe substantial value-add activities are performed. Our current examinations are at various stages with respect to assessments, claims, deficiencies and refunds. We continually assess the likelihood and amount of potential adjustments and adjust the income tax provision, income taxes payable and deferred taxes in the period in which the facts give rise to a revision become known. Although we believe that our tax estimates are reasonable at September 30, 2018, the final determination of tax audits and any related legal proceedings could materially differ from amounts reflected in our historical income tax provisions and accruals. In such case, our income tax provision, results of operations and/or cash flows in the period or periods in which that determination is made could be negatively affected.
On December 22, 2017, tax reform legislation known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the Tax Legislation) was enacted in the United States. Given the amount and complexity of the changes in tax law resulting from the Tax Legislation, we have not finalized the accounting for the income tax effects of the Tax Legislation. This includes the provisional amounts recorded related to the repatriation tax on deemed repatriated earnings and profits of U.S.-owned foreign subsidiaries (Toll Charge). Further, we are in the process of analyzing the effects of new taxes due on certain foreign income, such as GILTI (global intangible low-taxed income), BEAT (base-erosion anti-abuse tax), FDII (foreign-derived intangible income) and limitations

33


on interest expense deductions (if certain conditions apply) that are effective starting in fiscal 2019, and other provisions of the Tax Legislation. The impact of the Tax Legislation related to the Toll Charge may differ from this estimate, possibly materially, during the one-year measurement period due to, among other things, further refinement of our calculations, changes in interpretations and assumptions we have made, guidance that may be issued and actions we may take as a result of the Tax Legislation.
We have tax incentives in Singapore provided that we meet specified employment and other criteria, and as a result of the expiration of these incentives, our Singapore tax rate is expected to increase in fiscal 2022 and again in fiscal 2027. If we do not meet the criteria required to retain such incentives, our Singapore tax rate could increase prior to fiscal 2022, and our results of operations and cash flows could be adversely affected.
Tax rules may change in a manner that adversely affects our future reported results of operations or the way we conduct our business.
Further changes in the tax laws of foreign jurisdictions could arise as a result of the base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) project that was undertaken by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The OECD, which represents a coalition of member countries, recommended changes to numerous long-standing tax principles related to transfer pricing. These changes, as adopted by countries, may increase tax uncertainty and may adversely affect our provision for income taxes, results of operations and/or cash flow. We have not yet determined what changes, if any, may be needed to our operations or structure to address BEPS. If our effective tax rates were to increase, particularly in the United States or Singapore, our results of operations, cash flows and/or financial condition could be adversely affected.
Global, regional or local economic conditions, or political actions including trade protection policies such as tariffs, that impact the mobile communications industry or the other industries in which we operate could negatively affect the demand for our products and services and our customers’ or licensees’ products and services, which may negatively affect our revenues.
A decline in global, regional or local economic conditions or a slow-down in economic growth, or political actions including trade protection policies such as tariffs, particularly in geographic regions with high concentrations of wireless voice and data users or high concentrations of our customers or licensees, could have adverse, wide-ranging effects on demand for our products and for the products and services of our customers or licensees, particularly equipment manufacturers or others in the wireless communications industry who buy their products, such as wireless operators. Any prolonged economic downturn or “trade war” may result in a decrease in demand for our products or technologies; the products of our customers or licensees; the insolvency of key suppliers, customers or licensees; delays in reporting and/or payments from our licensees and/or customers; failures by counterparties; and negative effects on wireless device inventories. In addition, our customers’ ability to purchase or pay for our products and services and network operators’ ability to upgrade their wireless networks could be adversely affected by economic conditions, leading to a reduction, cancelation or delay of orders for our products or services.
We may not be able to attract and retain qualified employees.
Our future success depends largely upon the continued service of our executive officers and other key management and technical personnel, and on our ability to continue to identify, attract, retain and motivate them, which may become increasingly difficult in an environment of cost reductions. Implementing our business strategy requires specialized engineering and other talent, as our revenues are highly dependent on technological and product innovations. The market for employees in our industry is extremely competitive. Further, existing immigration laws make it more difficult for us to recruit and retain highly skilled foreign national graduates of universities in the United States, making the pool of available talent even smaller. If we are unable to attract and retain qualified employees, our business may be harmed.
Currency fluctuations could negatively affect future product sales or royalty revenues, harm our ability to collect receivables or increase the U.S. dollar cost of our products.
Our customers sell their products throughout the world in various currencies. Our consolidated revenues from international customers and licensees as a percentage of our total revenues were greater than 90% in each of the last three fiscal years. Adverse movements in currency exchange rates may negatively affect our business, revenues, results of operations and/or cash flows due to a number of factors, including, among others:
Our products and those of our customers and licensees that are sold outside the United States may become less price-competitive, which may result in reduced demand for those products and/or downward pressure on average selling prices;

34


Certain of our revenues that are derived from products that are sold in foreign currencies could decrease, resulting in lower revenues, cash flows and margins;
Certain of our revenues, such as royalties, that are derived from licensee or customer sales denominated in foreign currencies could decrease, resulting in lower revenues and cash flows;
Our foreign suppliers may raise their prices if they are impacted by currency fluctuations, resulting in higher than expected costs and lower margins;
Certain of our costs that are denominated in foreign currencies could increase, resulting in higher than expected costs and cash outflows; and/or
Foreign exchange hedging transactions that we engage in to reduce the impact of currency fluctuations may require the payment of structuring fees, limit the U.S. dollar value of royalties from licensees’ sales that are denominated in foreign currencies, cause earnings volatility if the hedges do not qualify for hedge accounting and expose us to counterparty risk if the counterparty fails to perform.
Failures in our products or services or in the products or services of our customers or licensees, including those resulting from security vulnerabilities, defects or errors, could harm our business.
The use of devices containing our products to interact with untrusted systems or otherwise access untrusted content creates a risk of exposing the system hardware and software in those devices to malicious attacks. While we continue to focus on this issue and are taking measures to safeguard our products from cybersecurity threats, device capabilities continue to evolve, enabling more elaborate functionality and applications, and increasing the risk of security failures. Further, our products are inherently complex and may contain defects or errors that are detected only when the products are in use. Because our products and services are responsible for critical functions in our customers’ products and/or networks, security failures, defects or errors in our products or services could have an adverse impact on us, on our customers and/or on the end users of our customers’ products. Such adverse impact could include shipment delays; product liability claims or recalls; write-offs of our inventories, property, plant and equipment and/or intangible assets; unfavorable purchase commitments; a shift of business to our competitors; a decrease in demand for connected devices and wireless services; damage to our reputation and our customer relationships; regulatory actions; and other financial liability or harm to our business. Further, security failures, defects or errors in the products of our customers or licensees could have an adverse impact on our results of operations and/or cash flows due to a delay or decrease in demand for our products or services generally, and our premium-tier products in particular, among other factors. Development of products and features in new domains of technology and the migration to integrated circuit technologies with smaller geometric feature sizes are complex and add risk to manufacturing yields and reliability. Further, manufacturing, testing, marketing and use of our products and those of our customers and licensees entail the risk of product liability.
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments
None.
Item 2. Properties
At September 30, 2018, we occupied the following facilities (square footage in millions):
 
United States
 
Other Countries
 
Total
Owned facilities
4.5

 
0.3

 
4.8

Leased facilities
1.1

 
5.1

 
6.2

Total
5.6

 
5.4

 
11.0


Our headquarters as well as certain research and development, manufacturing and network management hub operations are located in San Diego, California. Additionally, our QCT segment’s non-United States headquarters is located in Singapore. Our consolidated RF360 Holdings joint venture with TDK leases manufacturing facilities in Germany, China and Singapore. We also own and lease properties around the world for use as sales and administrative offices and research and development centers, primarily in the United States and India. Our facility leases expire at varying dates through 2026, not including renewals that are at our option. Several other owned and leased facilities are under construction totaling approximately 437,000 additional square feet.

35


We believe that our facilities are suitable and adequate for our present purposes and that the productive capacity in facilities that are not under construction is substantially utilized. We do not identify or allocate facilities by operating segment. Additional information on net property, plant and equipment by geography is provided in this Annual Report in “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, Note 8. Segment Information.” In the future, we may need to purchase, build or lease additional facilities to meet the requirements projected in our long-term business plan.
Item 3. Legal and Regulatory Proceedings
Information regarding legal and regulatory proceedings is provided in this Annual Report in “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, Note 7. Commitments and Contingencies.” We are also engaged in numerous other legal actions arising in the ordinary course of our business and, while there can be no assurance, we believe that the ultimate outcome of these other legal actions will not have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition or cash flows.
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures
Not applicable.

36


Part II
Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Market Information and Dividends
Our common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market (NASDAQ) under the symbol “QCOM.” At November 5, 2018, there were 6,887 holders of record of our common stock.
We intend to continue to pay quarterly dividends, subject to capital availability and our view that cash dividends are in the best interests of our stockholders. Future dividends may be affected by, among other items, our views on potential future capital requirements, including those relating to research and development, creation and expansion of sales and distribution channels, investments and acquisitions, legal risks, withholding of payments by one or more of our significant licensees and/or customers, fines by government agencies and/or adverse rulings by a court or arbitrator in a legal matter, stock repurchase programs, debt issuances, changes in federal and state income tax law and changes to our business model.
Share-Based Compensation
We primarily issue restricted stock units under our equity compensation plans, which are part of a broad-based, long-term retention program that is intended to attract and retain talented employees and directors and align stockholder and employee interests.
Our 2016 Long-Term Incentive Plan (2016 Plan) provides for the grant of both incentive and nonstatutory stock options, stock appreciation rights, restricted stock, unrestricted stock, restricted stock units, performance units, performance shares, deferred compensation awards and other stock-based awards. Restricted stock units generally vest over periods of three years from the date of grant. Stock options vest over periods not exceeding five years and are exercisable for up to ten years from the grant date. The Board of Directors may amend or terminate the 2016 Plan at any time, with certain amendments also requiring stockholder approval.
Additional information regarding our share-based compensation plans and plan activity for fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016 is provided in this Annual Report in “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, Note 5. Employee Benefit Plans.”
Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Issuer purchases of equity securities during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018 were:
 
Total Number of
Shares Purchased
 
Average Price Paid Per Share (1)
 
Total Number of Shares Purchased as Part of Publicly Announced Plans or Programs
 
Approximate Dollar Value of Shares that May Yet Be
Purchased Under the Plans or Programs
(2)
 
(In thousands)
 
 
 
(In thousands)
 
(In millions)
June 25, 2018 to July 22, 2018

 
$

 

 
$
9,000

July 23, 2018 to August 26, 2018

 

 

 
30,000

August 27, 2018 to September 30, 2018
 
 
 
 


 
 
Accelerated share repurchases (3)
178,397

 
 
 
178,397

 
14,000

Other repurchases (4)
76,205

 
67.50

 
76,205

 
8,856

Total
254,602

 


 
254,602

 


(1)
Average Price Paid Per Share excludes cash paid for commissions.
(2)
On July 26, 2018, we announced a repurchase program authorizing us to repurchase up to $30 billion of our common stock replacing the existing $10 billion stock repurchase authorization. At September 30, 2018, $8.9 billion remained authorized for repurchase. The stock repurchase program has no expiration date. Since September 30, 2018, we repurchased and retired 8.5 million shares of common stock for $542 million.
(3)
In September 2018, we entered into three accelerated share repurchase agreements (ASR Agreements) to repurchase an aggregate of $16.0 billion of our common stock. During the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018, 178.4 million shares were initially delivered to us under the ASR Agreements and were retired. Pursuant to the terms of the ASR Agreements, the final number of shares and the average

37


purchase price will be determined at the end of the applicable purchase periods, which are scheduled to occur in August 2019 but may occur earlier in certain circumstances.
(4)
Other repurchases result from the completion of a “modified Dutch auction” tender offer in August 2018.

38


Item 6. Selected Financial Data
The following data should be read in conjunction with the annual consolidated financial statements, related notes and other financial information appearing elsewhere herein.
 
Years Ended (1)
 
September 30, 2018
 
September 24, 2017
 
September 25, 2016
 
September 27, 2015
 
September 28, 2014
 
(In millions, except per share data)
Statement of Operations Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Revenues
$
22,732

 
$
22,291

 
$
23,554

 
$
25,281

 
$
26,487

Operating income
742

 
2,614

 
6,495

 
5,776

 
7,550

(Loss) income from continuing operations (2)
(4,864
)
 
2,465

 
5,702

 
5,268

 
7,534

Discontinued operations, net of income taxes

 

 

 

 
430

Net (loss) income attributable to Qualcomm (2)
(4,864
)
 
2,466

 
5,705

 
5,271

 
7,967

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Per Share Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Basic (loss) earnings per share attributable to Qualcomm:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Continuing operations
$
(3.32
)
 
$
1.67

 
$
3.84

 
$
3.26

 
$
4.48

Discontinued operations

 

 

 

 
0.25

Net (loss) income
(3.32
)
 
1.67

 
3.84

 
3.26

 
4.73

Diluted (loss) earnings per share attributable to Qualcomm:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Continuing operations
(3.32
)
 
1.65

 
3.81

 
3.22

 
4.40

Discontinued operations

 

 

 

 
0.25

Net (loss) income
(3.32
)
 
1.65

 
3.81

 
3.22

 
4.65

Dividends per share announced
2.38

 
2.20

 
2.02

 
1.80

 
1.54

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Balance Sheet Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities (3)
$
12,123

 
$
38,578

 
$
32,350

 
$
30,947

 
$
32,022

Total assets (3)
32,686

 
65,486

 
52,359

 
50,796

 
48,574

Short-term debt (4)
1,005

 
2,495

 
1,749

 
1,000

 

Long-term debt (5)
15,365

 
19,398

 
10,008

 
9,969

 

Other long-term liabilities (6)
1,225

 
2,432

 
895

 
817

 
428

Total stockholders’ equity (3)
928

 
30,746

 
31,768

 
31,414

 
39,166

(1)
Our fiscal year ends on the last Sunday in September. The fiscal year ended September 30, 2018 included 53 weeks. The fiscal years ended September 24, 2017, September 25, 2016, September 27, 2015 and September 28, 2014 each included 52 weeks.
(2)
Revenues in fiscal 2018 were negatively impacted by our continued dispute with Apple and its contract manufacturers, partially offset by $600 million paid under an interim agreement with the other licensee in dispute (which dispute was previously disclosed). Operating income in fiscal 2018 was further negatively impacted by a $2.0 billion charge related to the NXP termination fee, a $1.2 billion charge related to the fine imposed by the European Commission and $629 million in charges related to our Cost Plan, partially offset by a $676 million benefit resulting from the settlement with the Taiwan Fair Trade Commission (TFTC). Additionally, net loss for fiscal 2018 was negatively impacted by the $5.7 billion charge related to the Tax Legislation.
Revenues in fiscal 2017 were negatively impacted by actions taken by Apple and its contract manufacturers and the previously disclosed dispute with another licensee, who did not fully report or fully pay royalties due in the last three quarters of fiscal 2017, as well as a $940 million reduction to revenues recorded related to the BlackBerry arbitration. Operating income was further negatively impacted by $927 million and $778 million in charges related to the fines imposed by the Korea Fair Trade Commission and TFTC, respectively.
(3)
In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018, we announced a stock repurchase program authorizing us to repurchase up to $30 billion of our common stock. Under this program, we completed a tender offer and paid an aggregate of $5.1 billion to repurchase shares of our common stock and entered into three accelerated share repurchase agreements to repurchase an aggregate of $16.0 billion of our

39


common stock, resulting in significant reductions to the balances of our cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities, total assets and total stockholders’ equity.
(4)
Short-term debt was comprised of outstanding commercial paper and, in fiscal 2017, the current portion of long-term debt.
(5)
Long-term debt was comprised of floating- and fixed-rate notes.
(6)
Other long-term liabilities in this balance sheet data exclude unearned revenues.

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Item 7. Managements Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
In addition to historical information, the following discussion contains forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those referred to herein due to a number of factors, including but not limited to risks described in “Part I, Item 1A. Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this Annual Report.
The following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and related notes included in “Part II, Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Annual Report.
Fiscal 2018 Overview
Revenues were $22.7 billion, an increase of 2% from fiscal 2017, with net loss attributable to Qualcomm of $4.9 billion, compared to net income of $2.5 billion in fiscal 2017. Highlights and other events from fiscal 2018 included:
The transition of wireless networks and devices to 3G/4G (CDMA-single mode, OFDMA-single mode and CDMA/OFDMA multi-mode) continued around the world. 3G/4G connections increased to approximately 5.5 billion, up 17% year-over-year, and represent approximately 69% of total mobile connections at the end of fiscal 2018, up from 60% at the end of fiscal 2017.(1) 
We continue to invest significant resources toward advancements primarily in support of 4G- and 5G-based technologies as well as other technologies to extend the demand for our products and generate new or expanded licensing opportunities, including within adjacent industry segments outside traditional cellular industries, such as automotive, the Internet of Things (IoT) and networking.
QCT results in fiscal 2018 were positively impacted by results from our RF360 Holdings joint venture, which was formed in the second quarter of fiscal 2017, and higher demand from OEMs in China, partially offset by lower modem sales to Apple.
QTL results were negatively impacted by our continued dispute with Apple and its contract manufacturers (who are Qualcomm licensees). We did not record any revenues in fiscal 2018 for royalties due on sales of Apple’s products. QTL revenues in fiscal 2018 included $600 million paid under an interim agreement with the other licensee in dispute (which dispute was previously disclosed). This represents a partial payment for royalties due after the second quarter of fiscal 2017 by that other licensee while negotiations continue. This payment does not reflect the full amount of royalties due under the underlying license agreement.
In the first quarter of fiscal 2018, tax reform legislation known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the Tax Legislation) was enacted in the United States. As a result of such enactment, net loss for fiscal 2018 included an estimated $5.7 billion charge to income tax expense, comprised of a one-time tax on deemed repatriated earnings and profits of U.S.-owned foreign subsidiaries (the Toll Charge) of $5.2 billion and a charge of $438 million resulting from the remeasurement of deferred tax assets and liabilities that existed at the end of fiscal 2017 at a lower enacted corporate tax rate Further, our federal statutory income tax rate for fiscal 2018 reflected a blended rate of approximately 25%.
In January 2018, the European Commission (EC) issued a decision finding that certain terms of an agreement with Apple violate European Union competition law and imposed a fine of 997 million Euros ($1.2 billion), which was recorded as a charge to other expenses in the first quarter of fiscal 2018. We provided financial guarantees to satisfy the obligation in lieu of cash payment while we appeal the EC’s decision.
In the second quarter of fiscal 2018, we announced a Cost Plan designed to align our cost structure to our long-term margin targets, under which we continue to execute on a series of targeted actions across our businesses to reduce annual costs by $1 billion, excluding incremental costs resulting from any future acquisition of a business. We expect these cost reductions to be fully captured in fiscal 2019. We recorded restructuring and restructuring-related charges of $687 million in fiscal 2018 related to our Cost Plan.
In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018, we reached a settlement with the Taiwan Fair Trade Commission (TFTC) resolving the TFTC’s investigation alleging that we violated the Taiwan Fair Trade Act. As a result of the settlement, the parties agreed that the amounts we paid towards the previously imposed fine will be retained by the TFTC, and no other amounts will be due. As a result, in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018 we reversed the remaining $676 million accrual that was initially recorded in fiscal 2017 as a benefit to other expense.
In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018, we terminated the definitive agreement under which we proposed to acquire NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NXP). In accordance with the terms of the purchase agreement, we paid NXP a termination fee of $2.0 billion, which was recorded as a charge to other expense in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018.

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In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018, following the termination of our agreement to acquire NXP, we announced a stock repurchase program authorizing us to repurchase up to $30 billion of our common stock, the large majority of which we expect to complete by the end of fiscal 2019. In August 2018, we completed a tender offer and paid an aggregate of $5.1 billion to repurchase 76.2 million shares of our common stock. In September 2018, we entered into three accelerated share repurchase agreements to repurchase an aggregate of $16.0 billion of our common stock resulting in an initial delivery to us of 178.4 million shares of our common stock.
(1)
According to GSMA Intelligence estimates as of November 5, 2018 (estimates excluded Wireless Local Loop).
Our Business and Operating Segments
We develop and commercialize foundational technologies and products used in mobile devices and other wireless products, including network equipment, broadband gateway equipment and consumer electronics devices. We derive revenues principally from sales of integrated circuit products and licensing our intellectual property, including patents, software and other rights.
We are organized on the basis of products and services and have three reportable segments. We conduct business primarily through our QCT (Qualcomm CDMA Technologies) semiconductor business and our QTL (Qualcomm Technology Licensing) licensing business. QCT develops and supplies integrated circuits and system software based on CDMA, OFDMA and other technologies for use in mobile devices, wireless networks, devices used in IoT, broadband gateway equipment, consumer electronic devices and automotive telematics and infotainment systems. QTL grants licenses to use portions of its intellectual property portfolio, which includes certain patent rights essential to and/or useful in the manufacture and sale of certain wireless products. Our QSI (Qualcomm Strategic Initiatives) reportable segment makes strategic investments. We also have nonreportable segments, including our cyber security solutions (formerly Qualcomm Government Technologies or QGOV), mobile health, small cells and other wireless technology and service initiatives.
Our reportable segments are operated by QUALCOMM Incorporated and its direct and indirect subsidiaries. Substantially all of our products and services businesses, including QCT, and substantially all of our engineering, research and development functions, are operated by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. (QTI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of QUALCOMM Incorporated, and QTI’s subsidiaries. QTL is operated by QUALCOMM Incorporated, which owns the vast majority of our patent portfolio. Neither QTI nor any of its subsidiaries has any right, power or authority to grant any licenses or other rights under or to any patents owned by QUALCOMM Incorporated.
Further information regarding our business and operating segments is provided in “Part I, Item 1. Business” of this Annual Report.
Seasonality. Many of our products and/or much of our intellectual property are incorporated into consumer wireless devices, which are subject to seasonality and other fluctuations in demand. As a result, QCT has tended historically to have stronger sales toward the end of the calendar year as manufacturers prepare for major holiday selling seasons. Similarly, because QTL has historically recognized royalty revenues when royalties are reported by licensees, QTL has tended to record higher royalty revenues in the first calendar quarter when licensees report their sales made in the fourth calendar quarter. These trends may or may not continue in the future, in part depending on the amount of QCT revenues from modem sales for iPhone products and QTL royalties on sales of Apple’s products, both of which have been significant drivers of our historical seasonality. Further, starting in the first quarter of fiscal 2019, seasonal trends for QTL will be impacted by the adoption of the new guidance related to revenue recognition pursuant to which we will be required to estimate and recognize sales-based royalties in the period in which the associated sales occur, resulting in an acceleration of revenue recognition by one quarter compared to the current method.
We have also experienced fluctuations in revenues due to the timing of conversions and expansions of 3G and 4G networks by wireless operators and the timing of launches of flagship wireless devices and consumer demand for wireless devices that incorporate our products and/or intellectual property. The seasonal trends for QTL have been, and may in the future be, impacted by disputes and/or resolutions with licensees.
Results of Operations
Revenues (in millions)
 
 
 
 
 
 
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
2018 vs. 2017 Change
 
2017 vs. 2016 Change
Equipment and services
$
17,400

 
$
16,647

 
$
15,467

 
$
753

 
$
1,180

Licensing
5,332

 
5,644

 
8,087

 
(312
)
 
(2,443
)
 
$
22,732

 
$
22,291

 
$
23,554

 
$
441

 
$
(1,263
)

42


2018 vs. 2017
The increase in revenues in fiscal 2018 was primarily due to:
+
$962 million reduction to licensing revenues recorded in fiscal 2017 related to the BlackBerry arbitration
+
$745 million in higher equipment and services revenues from our QCT segment
-
$1.3 billion in lower licensing revenues from our QTL segment
-
$100 million reduction to licensing revenues recorded in fiscal 2018 related to a portion of a business arrangement that resolved a legal dispute
2017 vs. 2016
The increase in revenues in fiscal 2017 was primarily due to:
+
$1.1 billion in higher equipment and services revenues from our QCT segment
+
$66 million in higher equipment and services revenues from our QSI segment
-
$1.2 billion in lower licensing revenues from our QTL segment
-
$962 million reduction to licensing revenues recorded in fiscal 2017 related to the BlackBerry arbitration
-
$103 million in lower licensing revenues of one of our nonreportable segments
Revenue Concentrations
In fiscal 2018, revenues from Samsung Electronics, Xiaomi Corporation and suppliers to Apple Inc. each comprised more than 10% of consolidated revenues. In fiscal 2018 and 2017, combined revenues from GuangDong OPPO Mobile Telecommunications Corp. Ltd. and vivo Communication Technology Co., Ltd., and their respective affiliates, also comprised more than 10% of consolidated revenues. In fiscal 2017 and 2016, revenues from Samsung Electronics and suppliers to Apple Inc. each comprised more than 10% of consolidated revenues. QCT and QTL segment revenues related to the products of these customers/licensees comprised 52%, 58% and 54% of total consolidated revenues in fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016, respectively.
Revenues from customers in China (including Hong Kong) and South Korea comprised 67% and 14%, respectively, of total consolidated revenues for fiscal 2018, compared to 65% and 16%, respectively, for fiscal 2017, and 57% and 17%, respectively, for fiscal 2016. We report revenues from external customers by country based on the location to which our products or services are delivered, which for QCT is generally the country in which our customers manufacture their products, or for licensing revenues, the invoiced addresses of our licensees. As a result, the revenues by country presented herein are not necessarily indicative of either the country in which the devices containing our products and/or intellectual property are ultimately sold to consumers or the country in which the companies that sell the devices are headquartered. For example, China revenues could include revenues related to shipments of integrated circuits for a company that is headquartered in South Korea but that manufactures devices in China, which devices are then sold to consumers in Europe and/or the United States.
Costs and Expenses (in millions)
 
 
 
 
 
 
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
2018 vs. 2017 Change
 
2017 vs. 2016 Change
Cost of revenues
$
10,244

 
$
9,792

 
$
9,749

 
$
452

 
$
43

Gross margin
55
%
 
56
%
 
59
%
 
 
 
 
2018 vs. 2017
The decrease in margin percentage in fiscal 2018 was primarily due to:
-
decrease in higher margin QTL licensing revenues as a proportion of total revenues
-
reduction to licensing revenues recorded in fiscal 2018 related to a portion of a business arrangement that resolved a legal dispute
+
reduction to licensing revenues recorded in fiscal 2017 related to the BlackBerry arbitration
2017 vs. 2016
The decrease in margin percentage in fiscal 2017 was primarily due to:
-
decrease in higher margin QTL licensing revenues as a proportion of total revenues
-
reduction to licensing revenues recorded in fiscal 2017 related to the BlackBerry arbitration
+
increase in QCT margin
Our margin percentage may continue to fluctuate in future periods depending on the mix of segment results as well as products sold, competitive pricing, new product introduction costs and other factors, including disputes and/or resolutions with licensees.

43


 
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
2018 vs. 2017 Change
 
2017 vs. 2016 Change
Research and development
$
5,625

 
$
5,485

 
$
5,151

 
$
140

 
$
334

% of revenues
25
%
 
25
%
 
22
%
 
 
 
 
2018 vs. 2017
The dollar increase in research and development expenses in fiscal 2018 was primarily due to:
+
$168 million, net of cost decreases driven by actions initiated under our Cost Plan, in higher costs related to the development of wireless and integrated circuit technologies, including 5G technologies and RFFE technologies from our RF360 Holdings joint venture, which was formed in the second quarter of fiscal 2017, and related software products
-
$30 million impairment charge on certain intangible assets recorded in fiscal 2017
2017 vs. 2016
The dollar increase in research and development expenses in fiscal 2017 was primarily due to:
+
$372 million, net of cost decreases driven by actions initiated under our 2015 Strategic Realignment Plan, in higher costs related to the development of integrated circuit technologies, including 5G technologies and RFFE technologies from our RF360 Holdings joint venture, which was formed in the second quarter of fiscal 2017, and related software products
In fiscal 2018, all of the costs ($474 million) related to pre-commercial research and development of 5G technologies were included in unallocated corporate research and development expenses. Beginning in the first quarter of fiscal 2019, all research and development costs associated with 5G technologies will be included in segment results. Additionally, beginning in the first quarter of fiscal 2019, certain research and development costs associated with early research and development that have historically been included in our QCT segment will be allocated to our QTL segment. The net effect of these changes is expected to negatively impact QTL’s EBT in fiscal 2019 by approximately $500 million and to not have a significant impact on QCT EBT in fiscal 2019.
 
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
2018 vs. 2017 Change
 
2017 vs. 2016 Change
Selling, general and administrative
$
2,986

 
$
2,658

 
$
2,385

 
$
328

 
$
273

% of revenues
13
%
 
12
%
 
10
%
 
 
 
 
2018 vs. 2017
The dollar increase in selling, general and administrative expenses in fiscal 2018 was primarily due to:
+
$325 million in higher litigation costs, with total litigation costs of $554 million and $229 million in fiscal 2018 and fiscal 2017, respectively
+
$45 million in bad debt expense recorded in fiscal 2018
+
$42 million in higher professional fees and costs related to other legal matters, which was primarily driven by Broadcom’s withdrawn takeover proposal, partially offset by lower third-party acquisition and integration services fees
-
$40 million in lower amortization, primarily from our RF360 Holdings joint venture
-
$37 million in lower share-based compensation expense, primarily due to actions initiated under our Cost Plan
2017 vs. 2016
The dollar increase in selling, general and administrative expenses in fiscal 2017 was primarily due to:
+
$136 million in higher professional services fees, primarily related to third-party acquisition and integration services resulting from the proposed acquisition of NXP
+
$70 million in higher costs related to litigation and other legal matters
+
$33 million in higher employee-related expenses, primarily related to our RF360 Holdings joint venture, which was formed in the second quarter of fiscal 2017
 
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
2018 vs. 2017 Change
 
2017 vs. 2016 Change
Other
$
3,135

 
$
1,742

 
$
(226
)
 
$
1,393

 
$
1,968


44


2018
Other expenses in fiscal 2018 consisted of:
+    $2.0 billion charge related to the NXP termination fee
+    $1.2 billion charge related to the EC fine
+    $629 million in restructuring and restructuring-related charges related to our Cost Plan
-    $676 million benefit related to the settlement of the TFTC investigation
2017
Other expenses in fiscal 2017 consisted of:
+
$927 million charge related to the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) fine, including related foreign currency losses
+    $778 million charge related to the TFTC fine
+    $37 million in restructuring and restructuring-related charges related to our 2015 Strategic Realignment Plan
2016
Other income in fiscal 2016 consisted of:
+    $380 million gain on the sale of wireless spectrum
+    $48 million gain on the sale of our business that provided augmented reality applications
-    $202 million in restructuring and restructuring-related charges related to our 2015 Strategic Realignment Plan
Interest Expense and Investment and Other Income, Net (in millions)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
2018 vs. 2017 Change
 
2017 vs. 2016 Change
Interest expense
$
768

 
$
494

 
$
297

 
$
274

 
$
197

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Investment and other income, net
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Interest and dividend income
$
625

 
$
619

 
$
611

 
$
6

 
$
8

Net realized gains on marketable securities
41

 
456

 
239

 
(415
)
 
217

Net realized gains on other investments
83

 
74

 
49

 
9

 
25

Impairment losses on marketable securities and other investments
(75
)
 
(177
)
 
(172
)
 
102

 
(5
)
Equity in net losses of investees
(145
)
 
(74
)
 
(84
)
 
(71
)
 
10

Net gains (losses) on foreign currency transactions
37

 
(30
)
 

 
67

 
(30
)
Net (losses) gains on derivative instruments
(27
)
 
32

 
(8
)
 
(59
)
 
40

 
$
539

 
$
900

 
$
635

 
$
(361
)
 
$
265


The increases in interest expense in fiscal 2018 and 2017 were primarily due to the issuance of an aggregate principal amount of $11.0 billion of unsecured floating- and fixed-rate notes in May 2017 (May 2017 Notes), of which $4.0 billion were repaid between May and August 2018, and fees related to the Bridge and Term Loan Facilities entered into during the first quarter of fiscal 2017, which terminated in July 2018. In the first quarter of fiscal 2017, we began divesting a substantial portion of our marketable securities portfolio in order to finance, in part, the then proposed acquisition of NXP. As a result, we recorded net realized gains and impairment losses on such marketable securities that we sold and expected to sell before their anticipated recovery, respectively, in fiscal 2017. The net gains on foreign currency transactions in fiscal 2018, which were partially offset by losses on derivative instruments, were primarily attributable to currency exchange rate movements on amounts accrued for the EC and TFTC fines, as well as the impact of currency exchange rate movements on certain monetary assets and liabilities of our RF360 Holdings joint venture.
Income Tax Expense (in millions)
 
 
 
 
 
 
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
2018 vs. 2017 Change
 
2017 vs. 2016 Change
Income tax expense
$
5,377

 
$
555

 
$
1,131

 
$
4,822

 
$
(576
)
Effective tax rate
N/M

 
18
%
 
17
%
 


 


N/M - Not meaningful

45


The following table summarizes the primary factors that caused our annual tax provision to differ from the expected income tax provision at the United States federal statutory rate (in millions):
 
2018
 
2017
 
2016
Expected income tax provision at federal statutory tax rate
$
127

 
$
1,057

 
$
2,392

State income tax provision, net of federal benefit
2

 
8

 
19

Toll Charge from U.S. tax reform
5,236

 

 

Benefits from foreign income taxed at other than U.S. rates
(834
)
 
(963
)
 
(1,068
)
Valuation allowance on deferred tax asset related to NXP termination fee
494

 

 

Remeasurement of deferred taxes due to changes in statutory rate due to U.S. tax reform
438

 

 

Benefits related to research and development tax credits
(136
)
 
(81
)
 
(143
)
Nondeductible charges and reversals related to the EC, KFTC and TFTC investigations
(119
)
 
363

 

Taxes on undistributed foreign earnings
87

 

 

Impact of changes in tax reserves and audit settlements for prior year tax positions

 
111

 

Worthless stock deduction of domestic subsidiary

 

 
(101
)
Other
82

 
60

 
32

Income tax expense
$
5,377

 
$
555

 
$
1,131

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the Tax Legislation) in the United States enacted on December 22, 2017 significantly revised the United States corporate income tax by, among other things, lowering the corporate income tax rate to 21% effective January 1, 2018, implementing a modified territorial tax system and imposing a one-time repatriation tax on deemed repatriated earnings and profits of U.S.-owned foreign subsidiaries (the Toll Charge). As a fiscal-year taxpayer, certain provisions of the Tax Legislation impacted us in fiscal 2018, including the change in the corporate income tax rate and the Toll Charge, while other provisions will be effective starting at the beginning of fiscal 2019, including the implementation of a modified territorial tax system. Accordingly, our federal statutory income tax rate for fiscal 2018 reflected a blended rate of approximately 25%.
As a result of the Tax Legislation, we recorded a charge of $5.7 billion to income tax expense in fiscal 2018, comprised of $5.2 billion related to the estimated Toll Charge and $438 million resulting from the remeasurement of U.S. deferred tax assets and liabilities that existed at the end of fiscal 2017 at a lower enacted corporate income tax rate, which included a $135 million tax benefit in fiscal 2018 related to the remeasurement of a U.S. deferred tax liability that was established as a result of a change in one of our positions due to Tax Legislation.
Income tax expense for fiscal 2018 was further negatively impacted by the charge recorded in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018 related to the termination fee paid to NXP, which did not result in a tax benefit after the consideration of realizability of such loss. Fiscal 2018 and 2017 income tax expense was also impacted by the EC, KFTC and TFTC fines, and settlement with the TFTC, which are not deductible for tax purposes and portions of which were attributable to foreign jurisdictions and to the United States. These impacts were partially offset in fiscal 2018 and 2017 by lower U.S. revenues primarily related to decreased royalty revenues from Apple’s contract manufacturers and, for fiscal 2017, the BlackBerry arbitration.
Income tax expense for fiscal 2017 also reflected the increase in our Singapore tax rate as a result of the expiration of certain of our tax incentives in March 2017, which was substantially offset by tax benefits resulting from the increase in our Singapore tax rate that will be in effect when certain deferred tax assets are scheduled to reverse. During the third quarter of fiscal 2018, we entered into a new tax incentive agreement in Singapore that results in a reduced tax rate from March 2017 through March 2022, provided that we meet specified employment and investment criteria in Singapore. Our Singapore tax rate will increase in March 2022 as a result of expiration of these incentives and again in March 2027 upon the expiration of tax incentives under a prior agreement. As a result of this new tax incentive, our income tax expense for fiscal 2018 was reduced by approximately $130 million.
Unrecognized tax benefits were $217 million and $372 million at September 30, 2018 and September 24, 2017, respectively. The decrease in unrecognized tax benefits in fiscal 2018 was primarily due to an agreement with the IRS related to tax positions on the classification of income in our fiscal 2016 federal income tax return. We believe that it is reasonably possible that the total amounts of unrecognized tax benefits at September 30, 2018 may increase or decrease in the next 12 months.

46


As a result of the Tax Legislation, in fiscal 2019, several of our foreign subsidiaries will make tax elections to be treated as U.S. branches for federal income tax purposes (commonly referred to as “check-the-box” elections) effective beginning in fiscal 2018 and 2019. We believe that, by these foreign subsidiaries being treated as U.S. branches for federal income taxes, rather than controlled foreign corporations, we will significantly reduce the risk of being subject to GILTI (global intangible low-taxed income) and BEAT (base-erosion anti-abuse tax) taxes, both of which are effective for us starting in fiscal 2019. As a result of making these check-the-box elections in the first quarter of fiscal 2019, we expect to record an estimated tax benefit of $525 million to $575 million due to establishing new U.S. net deferred tax assets resulting from the difference between the GAAP basis and the U.S. federal tax carryover basis of the existing assets and liabilities of those foreign subsidiaries, primarily related to customer incentive liabilities that have not been deducted for tax purposes.
We are subject to income taxes in the United States and numerous foreign jurisdictions and are currently under examination by various tax authorities worldwide, most notably in countries where we earn a routine return and tax authorities believe substantial value-add activities are performed. These examinations are at various stages with respect to assessments, claims, deficiencies and refunds. We continually assess the likelihood and amount of potential adjustments and adjust the income tax provision, income taxes payable and deferred taxes in the period in which the facts give rise to a revision become known. As of September 30, 2018, we believe that adequate amounts have been reserved for based on facts known. However, the final determination of tax audits and any related legal proceedings could materially differ from amounts reflected in our income tax provision and the related accruals.
Segment Results
The following should be read in conjunction with the fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016 results of operations for each reportable segment included in this Annual Report in “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, Note 8. Segment Information.”
QCT Segment
(in millions)
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
2018 vs. 2017 Change
 
2017 vs. 2016 Change
Revenues
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Equipment and services
$
17,060

 
$
16,315

 
$
15,183

 
$
745

 
$
1,132

Licensing
222

 
164

 
226

 
58

 
(62
)
Total revenues
$
17,282

 
$
16,479

 
$
15,409

 
$
803

 
$
1,070

EBT (1)
$
2,966

 
$
2,747

 
$
1,812

 
$
219

 
$
935

EBT as a % of revenues
17
%
 
17
%
 
12
%
 

 
5
%
(1)
Earnings (loss) before taxes.
Equipment and services revenues mostly relate to sales of Mobile Station Modem (MSM) and accompanying Radio Frequency (RF), Power Management (PM) and wireless connectivity integrated circuits. Approximately 855 million, 804 million and 842 million MSM integrated circuits were sold during fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016, respectively.
2018 vs. 2017
The increase in QCT equipment and services revenues in fiscal 2018 was primarily due to:
+
$825 million in higher RFFE product revenues primarily related to revenues from our RF360 Holdings joint venture, which was formed in the second quarter of fiscal 2017, and reflected the impact of eliminating a one-month reporting lag in fiscal 2018
+
$737 million in higher MSM and accompanying unit shipments primarily due to by higher demand from OEMs in China, partially offset by a decline in share at Apple
-
$719 million decrease due to lower average selling prices and unfavorable product mix
-
$83 million in lower connectivity product revenues
QCT EBT as a percentage of revenues remained flat in fiscal 2018 primarily due to an unchanged gross margin percentage, driven by the net effect of lower average selling prices and lower-margin product mix, offset by lower average unit costs.
QCT accounts receivable decreased by 25% in fiscal 2018 from $1.81 billion to $1.36 billion, primarily due to the timing of integrated circuit shipments. QCT inventories decreased by 17% in fiscal 2018 from $2.02 billion to $1.68 billion primarily due to a decrease in the overall quantity of units on hand.

47


2017 vs. 2016
The increase in QCT equipment and services revenues in fiscal 2017 was primarily due to:
+
$676 million in higher RFFE revenues, primarily related to revenues from our RF360 Holdings joint venture
+
$492 million increase due to higher shipments of connectivity products primarily related to adjacent industry segments outside of traditional cellular industries
+
$469 million increase due to the net impact of higher-priced product mix and lower average selling prices
-
$553 million decrease primarily due to lower MSM and accompanying RF and PM unit shipments driven primarily by a decline in share at Apple, partially offset by higher demand from OEMs in China
QCT EBT as a percentage of revenues increased in fiscal 2017 primarily due to:
+
increase in gross margin percentage primarily driven by higher-margin product mix and lower average unit costs, partially offset by lower average selling prices and higher excess inventory charges
-
a combined increase of 1% in research and development and selling, general and administrative expenses primarily related to our RF360 Holdings joint venture
QTL Segment
(in millions)
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
2018 vs. 2017 Change
 
2017 vs. 2016 Change
Licensing revenues
$
5,163

 
$
6,445

 
$
7,664

 
$
(1,282
)
 
$
(1,219
)
EBT
$
3,525

 
$
5,175

 
$
6,528

 
$
(1,650
)
 
$
(1,353
)
EBT as a % of revenues
68
%
 
80
%
 
85
%
 
(12
%)
 
(5
%)
QTL results in fiscal 2018 and fiscal 2017 were negatively impacted by our continued dispute with Apple and its contract manufacturers (who are our licensees). We did not record any revenues in fiscal 2018 or the third or fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 for royalties due on sales of Apple’s products. QTL revenues in fiscal 2018 included $600 million paid under an interim agreement with the other licensee in dispute. This represents a partial payment for royalties due after the second quarter of fiscal 2017 by that other licensee while negotiations continue, and it does not reflect the full amount of royalties due under the underlying license agreement. We did not record any revenues in the third or fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 for royalties due on the sales of the other licensee’s products, and the other licensee underpaid royalties due in the second quarter of fiscal 2017, which negatively impacted QTL revenues by an estimated amount in excess of $150 million. Royalty revenues related to the products of Apple’s contract manufacturers and the other licensee in dispute were approximately $1.7 billion in fiscal 2017. Revenues related to the products of Apple’s contract manufacturers and the other licensee in dispute comprised a total of approximately $1.35 billion in the third and fourth quarters of fiscal 2016.
2018 vs. 2017
Excluding the impact of the aforementioned continued dispute with Apple and its contract manufacturers, as well as the dispute with the other licensee, QTL licensing revenues in fiscal 2018 further decreased primarily due to:
-
$177 million in lower royalty revenues recognized related to devices sold in prior periods from certain other licensees
QTL EBT as a percentage of revenue decreased in fiscal 2018 primarily due to:
-
higher selling, general and administrative expenses resulting primarily from higher litigation costs
-
lower QTL revenues
QTL accounts receivable decreased by 15% in fiscal 2018 from $1.74 billion to $1.47 billion, primarily due to the timing of the collection of payments from certain of our licensees.
2017 vs. 2016
Excluding the impact of the aforementioned continued dispute with Apple and its contract manufacturers, as well as the with the other licensee, QTL licensing revenues in fiscal 2017 increased primarily due to:
+
higher royalty revenues recognized related to devices sold in prior periods
+
higher revenues per unit
-
recognition of revenues in fiscal 2016 relating to the termination of an infrastructure license agreement resulting from the merger of two licensees
-
lower recognition of unearned license fees
QTL EBT as a percentage of revenue decreased in fiscal 2017 primarily due to the decrease in QTL revenues.

48


QSI Segment
(in millions)
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
2018 vs. 2017 Change
 
2017 vs. 2016 Change
Equipment and services revenues
$
100

 
$
113

 
$
47

 
$
(13
)
 
$
66

EBT
$
24

 
$
65

 
$
386

 
$
(41
)
 
$
(321
)
2018 vs. 2017
The decrease in QSI EBT in fiscal 2018 was primarily due to:
-
$14 million decrease in net gains on investments
-
$14 million increase in our share of losses in equity method investments
-
$13 million decrease resulting from lower revenues from certain development contracts with one of our equity method investees
2017 vs. 2016
The decrease in QSI EBT in fiscal 2017 was primarily due to:
-
$380 million gain recorded in fiscal 2016 from the sale of wireless spectrum
+
$41 million increase resulting from higher revenues and costs associated with certain development contracts with one of our equity method investees
Looking Forward
In the coming years, we expect continued growth in consumer demand for 3G/4G multi-mode and 4G products and services and new consumer demand for 5G products and services around the world, driven primarily by smartphones. We also expect growth in new device categories and industries, driven by the expanding adoption of certain technologies that are already commonly used in smartphones by industry segments outside traditional cellular industries, such as automotive, IoT and networking.
As we look forward to the next several months and beyond, we expect our business to be impacted by the following key items:
In the second quarter of fiscal 2018, we announced a cost plan designed to align our cost structure to our long-term margin targets. As part of this plan, we continue to execute on a series of targeted actions across our businesses to reduce annual costs by $1 billion, excluding incremental costs resulting from any future acquisition of a business. We expect these cost reductions to be fully captured in fiscal 2019. In connection with this plan, we expect to incur additional restructuring and restructuring-related charges of up to $100 million, and we incurred $687 million in restructuring and restructuring-related charges in fiscal 2018.
Regulatory authorities in certain jurisdictions continue to investigate our business practices, and other regulatory authorities may do so in the future. Unfavorable resolutions of one or more of these matters have had and could in the future have a material adverse effect on our business with remedies that include, among others, injunctions, monetary damages or fines or other orders to pay money, and the issuance of orders to cease certain conduct and/or modify our business practices. Additionally, certain of our direct and indirect customers and licensees, including Apple, have pursued, and others may in the future pursue, litigation or arbitration against us related to our business. Unfavorable resolutions of one or more of these matters have in the past had a material adverse effect on our business and could in the future have a material adverse effect on our business including, among others, monetary damages, the loss of our ability to enforce one or more of our patents, and/or portions of our license agreements could be determined to be invalid or unenforceable. These activities have required, and we expect that they will continue to require, the investment of significant management time and attention and have resulted, and we expect that they will continue to result, in increased legal costs until the respective matters are resolved. See “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, Note 7. Commitments and Contingencies” and “Risk Factors” included in this Annual Report.
We are currently in dispute with Apple surrounding what we believe is an attempt by Apple to reduce the amount of royalties that its contract manufacturers (who are our licensees) are required to pay to us for use of our intellectual property. In fiscal 2018, such contract manufacturers did not fully report, and did not pay, royalties due on sales of Apple products. We have taken action against Apple’s contract manufacturers to compel them to pay the required royalties, and against Apple, as described more fully in this Annual Report in “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, Note 7. Commitments and Contingencies.” We did not record any revenues in fiscal 2018 or in the third and fourth quarters of fiscal 2017 for royalties due on sales of Apple’s products, and as a result, QTL revenues and EBT were negatively impacted by these continued disputes. We expect these companies will continue to take such actions in the future, resulting in increased legal costs and negatively impacting our future revenues, as well as our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows until the respective disputes are resolved. In the third

49


quarter of fiscal 2018, we entered into an interim agreement with the other licensee in dispute in which that licensee agreed to pay $700 million as partial payment for royalties due after the second quarter of fiscal 2017. That licensee paid $600 million in fiscal 2018 as a partial payment while negotiations continue. This payment does not reflect the full amount of royalties due under the underlying license agreement. If we do not reach a final agreement with that other licensee, it may not make any other payments or may not make full payments under the underlying license agreement, which may result in increased legal costs, due to exercising the dispute resolution provision in the license agreement, and will negatively impact our future revenues, as well as our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows until the dispute is resolved.
To position QTL for stability on a long-term basis, we have announced that our cellular standard-essential patent only licensing terms, including 3G, 4G and 5G through Release 15 for both single mode and multi-mode devices worldwide, will remain at the same rate, consistent with our licensing program established in China for 3G and 4G devices. A number of our licensees have entered into cellular standard-essential patent only agreements on a worldwide basis, and we expect more of our licensees may enter into such cellular standard-essential patent only agreements in the future. In addition, in fiscal 2018, we have reduced the per unit royalty cap on smartphones, which is the base on which our royalties are calculated. While we expect these developments to enhance stability for the long term, they will negatively impact QTL royalty revenues.
We expect our business, particularly QCT, to continue to be impacted by industry dynamics, including:
Concentration of device share among a few companies within the premium tier, resulting in significant supply chain leverage for those companies, and exacerbating the negative impact to our business and financial results if any of those companies do not utilize our chipsets;
Decisions by companies to utilize their own internally-developed integrated circuit products and/or sell such products to others, including by bundling with other products, increasing competition;
Decisions by certain companies to utilize our competitors’ integrated circuit products in all or a portion of their devices. For example, we have not been the sole supplier of modems for iPhone products beginning with products that launched in September 2016, as Apple utilizes modems from one or more of our competitors in a portion of such devices. Apple is solely using one or more of our competitors’ modems, rather than our modems, in its 2018 iPhone release and may take similar actions in the future. Accordingly, QCT revenues from modem sales for iPhones have declined in fiscal 2018, are expected to further decline in fiscal 2019 and may fluctuate in the future, in part depending on the extent of Apple’s utilization of competitors’ modems and the mix of the various versions of its products that are sold. Overall, QCT revenues, as well as profitability, may similarly decline unless offset by sales of integrated circuit products to other customers, including those outside of traditional cellular industries, such as the IoT, automotive and networking. Apple’s sourcing of integrated circuit products does not impact our licensing revenues since our licensing revenues from Apple products are not dependent upon whether such products include our chipsets;
Intense competition, particularly in China, as our competitors expand their product offerings and/or reduce the prices of their products as part of a strategy to attract new and/or retain existing customers;
Continued growth of device share by Chinese OEMs in China and in regions outside of China;
Lengthening replacement cycles in developed regions, where the smartphone industry is mature, premium-tier smartphones are common and consumer demand is increasingly driven by new product launches and/or innovation cycles;
Lengthening replacement cycles in emerging regions as smartphone penetration increases; and
Increasing consumer demand for 3G/4G smartphone products in emerging regions driven by availability of lower-tier 3G/4G devices.
Current U.S./China trade relations may negatively impact our business, growth prospects and results of operations.
We expect the ongoing rollout of 4G services in emerging regions will encourage competition and growth, bringing the benefits of 3G/4G LTE multi-mode to consumers.
We continue to invest significant resources to develop our wireless baseband chips, and our converged computing/communications (Snapdragon) chipsets, which incorporate technologies in the following areas, among others: advancements in 4G and 5G, OFDM-based Wi-Fi, RFFE, connectivity, power management, graphics, audio and

50


video codecs, multimedia, artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual/augmented reality, and all of which contribute to the expansion of our intellectual property portfolio. We are also investing in targeted opportunities that leverage our existing technical and business expertise to deploy new business models and enter and/or expand into new industry segments and applications, such as products for automotive, IoT (including the connected home, smart cities, wearables, voice and music and robotics), networking, computing and AI, such as machine learning, among others.
We expect initial commercial 5G network deployments and device launches to begin in calendar 2019. We believe that 5G technologies will empower a new era of smartphones and connected devices. We also believe that 5G will drive transformation across industries beyond traditional cellular communications that will create new business models and new services. We believe it is important that we remain a leader in 5G technology development, standardization, intellectual property creation and licensing of 5G technologies, and to be a leading developer and supplier of 5G integrated circuit products and services in order to sustain and grow our business long term.
In addition to the foregoing business and market-based matters, we continue to devote resources to working with and educating participants in the wireless value chain and governments as to the benefits of our licensing program and our extensive technology investments in promoting a highly competitive and innovative wireless industry. However, we expect that certain companies may continue to be dissatisfied with the need to pay reasonable royalties for the use of our technology and not welcome the success of our licensing program in enabling new, highly cost-effective competitors to their products. We expect that such companies, and/or governments or regulators, will continue to challenge our business model in various forums throughout the world.
Further discussion of risks related to our business is presented in “Part I, Item 1A. Risk Factors” included in this Annual Report.
Liquidity and Capital Resources
Our principal sources of liquidity are our existing cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities, cash generated from operations, cash provided by our debt programs and proceeds from the issuance of common stock under our stock option and employee stock purchase plans. The following table presents selected financial information related to our liquidity as of and for the years ended September 30, 2018 and September 24, 2017 (in millions):
 
2018
 
2017
 
$ Change
 
% Change
Cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities
$
12,123

 
$
38,578

 
$
(26,455
)
 
(69
%)
Accounts receivable, net
2,904

 
3,632

 
(728
)
 
(20
%)
Inventories
1,693

 
2,035

 
(342
)
 
(17
%)
Short-term debt
1,005

 
2,495

 
(1,490
)
 
(60
%)
Long-term debt
15,365

 
19,398

 
(4,033
)
 
(21
%)
Net cash provided by operating activities
3,895

 
5,001

 
(1,106
)
 
(22
%)
Net cash provided by investing activities
4,381

 
18,463

 
(14,082
)
 
(76
%)
Net cash (used) provided by financing activities
(31,487
)
 
5,571

 
(37,058
)
 
N/M

N/M = Not meaningful
The net decrease in cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities was primarily due to $22.6 billion in payments to repurchase shares of our common stock, $5.5 billion in repayment of long-term debt, $3.5 billion in cash dividends paid and $784 million in capital expenditures, partially offset by net cash provided by operating activities and the release of the restriction on $2.0 billion of deposits used to collateralize the letters of credit related to our proposed acquisition of NXP upon termination of the letters of credit. Net cash provided by operating activities decreased primarily due to the $2.0 billion termination fee paid to NXP and the continued actions taken by Apple and its contract manufacturers who did not report or pay royalties due in fiscal 2018, partially offset by the effect of the $940 million payment in connection with the BlackBerry arbitration in fiscal 2017 and the $927 million payment of the fine related to the KFTC investigation in fiscal 2017.
Our days sales outstanding, on a consolidated basis, decreased to 49 days at September 30, 2018 compared to 56 days at September 24, 2017. The decrease in accounts receivable and the related days sales outstanding were primarily due to the timing of integrated circuit shipments and the collection of receivables from certain licensees. The decrease in inventories was primarily due to a decrease in the overall quantity of units on hand.
Debt. Our 2016 Amended and Restated Revolving Credit Facility provides for unsecured revolving facility loans, swing line loans and letters of credit in the aggregate amount of $5.0 billion, of which $530 million and $4.47 billion will expire

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in February 2020 and November 2021, respectively. At September 30, 2018, no amounts were outstanding under the revolving credit facility.
We have an unsecured commercial paper program, which provides for the issuance of up to $5.0 billion of commercial paper. Net proceeds from this program are used for general corporate purposes. At September 30, 2018, we had $1.0 billion of commercial paper outstanding with weighted-average net interest rates of 2.35% and weighted-average remaining days to maturity of 16 days.
In July 2018, as a result of our termination of the NXP acquisition, the 2018 Revolving Credit Facility, 2016 Term Loan Facility and 2018 Term Loan Facility that were established primarily to fund the proposed acquisition of NXP were terminated in accordance with their terms. We had not borrowed any funds under these facilities. In addition, upon our payment of the NXP termination fee, the four letters of credit for which we had deposited aggregate funds of $2.0 billion as collateral for the potential termination fee payable to NXP were terminated, and we were no longer restricted from using the funds.
In May 2017, we issued an aggregate principal amount of $11.0 billion in nine tranches of unsecured floating- and fixed-rate notes, with maturity dates starting in 2019 through 2047. Effective interest rates were between 2.70% and 4.47% at September 30, 2018. Interest is payable in arrears quarterly for the floating-rate notes and semi-annually for the fixed-rate notes.
In May 2018, we initiated private offerings to exchange and repurchase certain of our notes issued in May 2017 that were subject to special mandatory redemption provisions that required redemption on the first to occur of (i) the termination of the NXP purchase agreement or (ii) June 1, 2018 if the NXP transaction had not closed as of such date. We exchanged $122 million of notes and repurchased $71 million of notes in the aggregate. In July 2018, we repurchased $3.8 billion of notes subject to the special mandatory redemption provisions that were not exchanged in the May 2018 private offerings. In August 2018, subsequent to the termination of the NXP purchase agreement, we repurchased the $122 million of new notes issued in May 2018.
In May 2015, we issued an aggregate principal amount of $10.0 billion in eight tranches of unsecured floating- and fixed-rate notes, of which $8.5 billion remains outstanding with maturity dates in 2020 through 2045. Effective interest rates were between 2.93% and 4.73% at September 30, 2018. Interest is payable in arrears quarterly for the floating-rate notes and semi-annually for the fixed-rate notes.
We may issue additional debt in the future. The amount and timing of such additional debt will be subject to a number of factors, including the cash flow generated by our operations, acquisitions and strategic investments, acceptable interest rates and changes in corporate income tax law, among other factors.
Additional information regarding our outstanding debt at September 30, 2018 is provided in this Annual Report in “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, Note 6. Debt.”
Income Taxes. The Tax Legislation, which was signed into law during the first quarter of fiscal 2018, resulted in an estimated $5.2 billion charge related to the Toll Charge. We currently estimate that we will pay $2.5 billion for the Toll Charge after application of certain tax credits, which is payable in installments over eight years (8% in each of the first five years, 15% in year six, 20% in year seven and 25% in year eight) beginning on January 15, 2019. This amount may be reduced by excess tax benefits generated in fiscal 2019.
We have historically asserted our intention to indefinitely reinvest the operating earnings of certain non-U.S. subsidiaries outside the United States based on our plans for use and/or investment outside of the United States and our belief that our sources of cash and liquidity in the United States would be sufficient to meet future domestic cash needs. The Tax Legislation eliminated certain material tax effects on the repatriation of cash to the United States. Future repatriation of cash and other property held by our foreign subsidiaries will generally not be subject to U.S. federal income tax. As a result, we reevaluated our historic assertion, and as of September 30, 2018, we no longer consider substantially all of our foreign earnings to be indefinitely reinvested in our foreign subsidiaries.
Additional information regarding our income taxes is provided in this Annual Report in “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, Note 3. Income Taxes.”

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Capital Return Program. The following table summarizes stock repurchases, before commissions, and dividends paid during fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016 (in millions, except per-share amounts):
 
 
Stock Repurchase Program
 
Dividends
 
Total
 
 
Shares
 
Average Price Paid Per Share (1)
 
Amount
 
Per Share
 
Amount
 
Amount
2018
 
278.8

 
$
65.41

 
$
22,569

 
$
2.38

 
$
3,466

 
$
26,035

2017
 
22.8

 
58.87

 
1,342

 
2.20

 
3,252

 
4,594

2016
 
73.8

 
53.16

 
3,922

 
2.02

 
2,990

 
6,912

(1)
Average Price Paid Per Share in fiscal 2018 excludes the impact of the three accelerated share repurchase agreements executed in September 2018 as the final number of shares and average purchase price will be determined at the end of the applicable purchase periods.
In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018, following the termination of the agreement to acquire NXP, we announced a stock repurchase program authorizing us to repurchase up to $30.0 billion of our common stock, the large majority of which we expect to complete by the end of fiscal 2019. This replaced the existing $10.0 billion stock repurchase authorization announced on May 9, 2018. In August 2018, we completed a “modified Dutch auction” tender offer and paid an aggregate of $5.1 billion, excluding fees and related expenses, to repurchase 76.2 million shares of our common stock. In September 2018, we entered into three accelerated share repurchase agreements (ASR Agreements) to repurchase an aggregate of $16.0 billion of our common stock. During the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018, 178.4 million shares were initially delivered to us under the ASR Agreements and were retired. Pursuant to the terms of the ASR Agreements, the final number of shares and the average purchase price will be determined at the end of the applicable purchase periods, which are scheduled to occur in August 2019 but may occur earlier in certain circumstances. At September 30, 2018, $8.9 billion remained authorized for repurchase under our stock repurchase program. Since September 30, 2018, we repurchased and retired 8.5 million shares of common stock for $542 million.
Our stock repurchase program has significantly reduced and will continue to reduce the amount of cash that we have available to fund our operations including research and development, working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions, investments, dividends and other corporate purposes; and increases our exposure to adverse economic, market, industry and competitive conditions and developments, and other changes in our business and our industry. This stock repurchase program has no expiration date. However, we periodically evaluate repurchases as a means of returning capital to stockholders to determine when and if repurchases are in the best interests of our stockholders and may accelerate, suspend, delay or discontinue repurchases at any time.
On October 23, 2018, we announced a cash dividend of $0.62 per share on our common stock, payable on December 20, 2018 to stockholders of record as of the close of business on December 6, 2018. We intend to continue to use cash dividends as a means of returning capital to stockholders, subject to capital availability and our view that cash dividends are in the best interests of our stockholders, among other factors.
Additional Capital Requirements. We believe our cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities, our expected cash flow generated from operations and our expected financing activities will satisfy our working and other capital requirements for at least the next 12 months based on our current business plans. Recent and expected working and other capital requirements, in addition to the above matters, also include the items described below.
We expect the majority of the charges incurred in connection with our Cost Plan will result in cash payments. Our restructuring accrual was $83 million at September 30, 2018, and we expect to incur additional restructuring and restructuring-related charges of up to $100 million.
Our purchase obligations at September 30, 2018, some of which relate to research and development activities and capital expenditures, totaled $3.7 billion and $630 million for fiscal 2019 and 2020, respectively, and $210 million thereafter.
Our research and development expenditures were $5.6 billion in fiscal 2018 and $5.5 billion in fiscal 2017, and we expect to continue to invest heavily in research and development for new technologies, applications and services for voice and data communications.
Cash outflows for capital expenditures were $784 million in fiscal 2018 and $690 million in fiscal 2017. We expect to continue to incur capital expenditures in the future to support our business, including research and development activities. Future capital expenditures may be impacted by transactions that are currently not forecasted.

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The EC imposed a fine on us, of which $1.2 billion was accrued at September 30, 2018 (based on the exchange rate at September 30, 2018, including related foreign currency gains and accrued interest). In the third quarter of 2018, we provided financial guarantees in lieu of cash payment to satisfy the obligation while we appeal the EU’s decision. The fine is accruing interest at a rate of 1.50% per annum while it is outstanding.
In August 2019, we have the option to acquire (and the minority owner has the option to sell) the minority ownership interest in the RF360 Holdings joint venture for $1.15 billion. The accreted value of such amount was included in other current liabilities at September 30, 2018.
We expect to continue making strategic investments and acquisitions, the amounts of which could vary significantly, to open new opportunities for our technologies, obtain development resources, grow our patent portfolio or pursue new businesses.
Contractual Obligations/Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements
We have no significant contractual obligations not fully recorded on our consolidated balance sheets or fully disclosed in the notes to our consolidated financial statements. We have no material off-balance sheet arrangements as defined in Regulation S-K 303(a)(4)(ii).
The following table summarizes the payments due by fiscal period for our outstanding contractual obligations at September 30, 2018 (in millions):
 
Total
 
2019
 
2020-2021
 
2022-2023
 
Beyond
2023
 
No
Expiration
Date
Purchase obligations (1)
$
4,513

 
$
3,673

 
$
794

 
$
45

 
$
1

 
$

Operating lease obligations
413

 
117

 
169

 
84

 
43

 

Capital lease obligations (2)
31

 
14

 
16

 
1

 

 

Equity funding and financing commitments (3)
316

 
35

 
75

 
8

 

 
198

Long-term debt (4)
15,500

 

 
2,000

 
4,000

 
9,500

 

Other long-term liabilities (5)(6)
3,318

 
337

 
560

 
225

 
1,708

 
488

Total contractual obligations
$
24,091

 
$
4,176

 
$
3,614

 
$
4,363

 
$
11,252

 
$
686

(1)
Total purchase obligations included commitments to purchase integrated circuit product inventories of $2.6 billion, $322 million, $62 million and $24 million for each of the four years from fiscal 2019 through 2022, respectively; there were no such purchase commitments thereafter. Integrated circuit product inventory obligations represent purchase commitments for raw materials, semiconductor die, finished goods and manufacturing services, such as wafer bump, probe, assembly and final test. Under our manufacturing relationships with our foundry suppliers and assembly and test service providers, cancelation of outstanding purchase commitments is generally allowed but requires payment of costs incurred through the date of cancelation, and in some cases, incremental fees related to capacity underutilization.
(2)
Amounts represent future minimum lease payments including interest payments. Capital lease obligations were included in other current liabilities and other noncurrent liabilities in the consolidated balance sheet at September 30, 2018. The future lease payments related to our RF360 Holdings joint venture manufacturing facility under construction (Note 7) have not been presented in the table above as the lease term will commence upon completion of the construction project.
(3)
Certain of these commitments do not have fixed funding dates and are subject to certain conditions and have, therefore, been presented as having no expiration date. Commitments represent the maximum amounts to be funded under these arrangements; actual funding may be in lesser amounts or not at all.
(4)
The amounts noted herein represent contractual payments of principal only.
(5)
Certain long-term liabilities reflected on our balance sheet, such as unearned revenues, are not presented in this table because they do not require cash settlement in the future. Other long-term liabilities as presented in this table include the related current portions, as applicable.
(6)
Our consolidated balance sheet at September 30, 2018 included $123 million in other noncurrent liabilities for uncertain tax positions, some of which may result in cash payment. The future payments related to uncertain tax positions recorded as other noncurrent liabilities have not been presented in the table above due to the uncertainty of the amounts and timing of cash settlement with the taxing authorities.
Additional information regarding our financial commitments at September 30, 2018 is provided in this Annual Report in “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, Note 3. Income Taxes,” “Note 6. Debt” and “Note 7. Commitments and Contingencies.”

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Critical Accounting Estimates
The preparation of our consolidated financial statements in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States requires us to make estimates and judgments that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses, and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities. We base our estimates on historical and anticipated results and trends and on various other assumptions that we believe are reasonable under the circumstances, including assumptions as to future events. By their nature, estimates are subject to an inherent degree of uncertainty. Although we believe that our estimates and the assumptions supporting our assessments are reasonable, actual results that differ from our estimates could be material to our consolidated financial statements. A summary of our significant accounting policies is included in this Annual Report in “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, Note 1. Significant Accounting Policies.” We consider the following accounting estimates to be critical in the preparation of our consolidated financial statements.
Impairment of Other Investments. We hold investments in non-marketable equity instruments in privately held companies that are accounted for using either the cost or the equity method. Many of these investments are in early-stage companies, which are inherently risky because the markets for the technologies or products of these companies are uncertain and may never develop. We monitor our investments for events or circumstances that could indicate the investments are impaired, such as a deterioration in the investee’s financial condition and business forecasts and lower valuations in recently completed or proposed financings, and we record impairment losses in earnings when we believe an investment has experienced a decline in value that is other than temporary.
Valuation of Inventories. Inventories are valued at the lower of cost and net realizable value using the first-in, first-out method. Recoverability of inventories is assessed based on review of future customer demand that considers multiple factors, including committed purchase orders from customers as well as purchase commitment projections provided by customers, among other things. This valuation also requires us to make judgments and assumptions based on information currently available about market conditions, including competition, product pricing, product life cycle and development plans. As we move to smaller geometry process technologies, the manufacturing lead-time increases, resulting in an increased reliance on our own forecasts of customer demand, rather than our customers’ forecasts. If we overestimate demand for our products, the amount of our loss will be impacted by our contractual ability to reduce inventory purchases from our suppliers. Our assumptions of future product demand are inherently uncertain, and changes in our estimates and assumptions may cause us to realize material write-downs in the future.
Valuation of Goodwill and Other Indefinite-Lived and Long-Lived Assets. Our business combinations typically result in the recording of goodwill, other intangible assets and/or property, plant and equipment, and the recorded values of those assets may become impaired in the future. We also acquire intangible assets and property, plant and equipment in other types of transactions. The determination of the recorded value of intangible assets acquired in a business combination requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect our consolidated financial statements. For intangible assets acquired in a non-monetary exchange, the estimated fair values of the assets transferred (or the estimated fair values of the assets received, if more clearly evident) are used to establish their recorded values, unless the values of neither the assets received nor the assets transferred are determinable within reasonable limits, in which case the assets received are measured based on the carrying values of the assets transferred. Valuation techniques consistent with the market approach, income approach and/or cost approach are used to measure fair value. An estimate of fair value can be affected by many assumptions that require significant judgment. For example, the income approach generally requires us to use assumptions to estimate future cash flows including those related to total addressable market, pricing and share forecasts, competition, technology obsolescence, future tax rates and discount rates. Our estimate of the fair value of certain assets may differ materially from that determined by others who use different assumptions or utilize different business models and from the future cash flows actually realized.
Goodwill and other indefinite-lived intangible assets are tested annually for impairment and in interim periods if events or changes in circumstances indicate that the assets may be impaired. Long-lived assets, such as property, plant and equipment and intangible assets subject to amortization, are reviewed for impairment when events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of an asset or asset group may not be recoverable. Our judgments regarding the existence of impairment indicators and future cash flows related to goodwill and other indefinite-lived intangible assets and long-lived assets may be based on operational performance of our businesses, market conditions, expected selling price and/or other factors. Although there are inherent uncertainties in this assessment process, the estimates and assumptions we use, including estimates of future cash flows and discount rates, are consistent with our internal planning, when appropriate. If these estimates or their related assumptions change in the future, we may be required to record an impairment charge on a portion or all of our goodwill, other indefinite-lived intangible assets and/or long-lived assets. Furthermore, we cannot predict the occurrence of future impairment-triggering events nor the impact such events might have on our reported asset values. Future events could cause us to conclude that impairment indicators exist, and that goodwill or other intangible assets

55


associated with our acquired businesses are impaired. Any resulting impairment loss could have an adverse impact on our financial condition and results of operations. During fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016, we recorded $273 million, $76 million and $107 million, respectively, in impairment charges for goodwill, other indefinite-lived intangible assets and long-lived assets. The estimated fair values of our QCT and QTL reporting units were substantially in excess of their respective carrying values at September 30, 2018.
Legal and Regulatory Proceedings. We are currently involved in certain legal and regulatory proceedings, and we intend to continue to vigorously defend ourselves. Litigation and investigations are inherently uncertain, and we face difficulties in evaluating or estimating likely outcomes or ranges of possible loss in antitrust and trade regulation investigations in particular. Investigations by antitrust and trade regulation agencies are not conducted in a consistent manner across jurisdictions. Further, each country and agency has different sets of laws, rules and regulations, both substantive and procedural, as well as different legal principles, theories and potential remedies, and some agencies may seek to use the investigation to advance domestic policy goals. Depending on the jurisdiction, these investigations can involve non-transparent procedures under which we may not receive access to evidence relied upon by the enforcement agency or that may be exculpatory and may not be informed of the specific legal theories or evidence considered or relied upon by the agency. Unlike in civil litigation in the United States, in foreign proceedings, we may not be entitled to discovery or depositions, allowed to cross-examine witnesses or confront our accusers. As a result, we may not be aware of, and may not be entitled to know, all allegations against us, or the information or documents provided to, or discovered or prepared by, the agency. Accordingly, we may have little or no idea what an agency’s intent is with respect to liability, penalties or the timing of a decision. In many cases the agencies are given significant discretion, and any available precedent may have limited, if any, predictive value in their jurisdictions, much less in other jurisdictions. Accordingly, we cannot predict the outcome of these matters. However, the unfavorable resolution of one or more of these proceedings could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and/or cash flows. A broad range of remedies with respect to our business practices that are deemed to violate applicable laws are potentially available. These remedies may include, among others, injunctions, monetary damages or fines or other orders to pay money and the issuance of orders to cease certain conduct and/or to modify our business practices. If there is at least a reasonable possibility that a material loss may have been incurred associated with a loss contingency, we disclose such fact, and if reasonably estimable, we provide an estimate of the possible loss or range of possible loss. We record our best estimate of a loss related to pending legal or regulatory proceedings when the loss is considered probable and the amount can be reasonably estimated. Where a range of loss can be reasonably estimated with no best estimate in the range, we record the minimum estimated liability. As additional information becomes available, we assess the potential liability, including the probability of loss related to pending legal or regulatory proceedings, and revise our estimates and update our disclosures accordingly. Significant judgment is required in both the determination of probability and the determination as to whether a loss is reasonably estimable. Revisions in our estimates of the potential liability could materially impact our results of operations.
Income Taxes. We are subject to income taxes in the United States and numerous foreign jurisdictions, and the assessment of our income tax positions involves dealing with uncertainties in the application of complex tax laws and regulations in various taxing jurisdictions. In addition, the application of tax laws and regulations is subject to legal and factual interpretation, judgment and uncertainty. Tax laws and regulations themselves are subject to change as a result of changes in fiscal policy, changes in legislation, the evolution of regulations and court rulings. Significant judgments and estimates are required in determining our provision for income taxes, including those related to tax incentives, intercompany research and development cost-sharing arrangements, transfer pricing and tax credits. While we believe we have appropriate support for the positions taken or plan to take on our tax returns, we regularly assess the potential outcomes of examinations by taxing authorities in determining the adequacy of our provision for income taxes. Therefore, the actual liability for U.S. or foreign taxes may be materially different from our estimates, which could result in the need to record additional tax liabilities or potentially reverse previously recorded tax liabilities. We are participating in the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Compliance Assurance Process program whereby we endeavor to agree with the IRS on the treatment of all issues prior to filing our federal return. A benefit of participation in this program is that post-filing adjustments by the IRS are less likely to occur.
On December 22, 2017, tax reform legislation known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the Tax Legislation) was enacted in the U.S. The Tax Legislation significantly revises the U.S. corporate income tax by, among other things, lowering the corporate income tax rate to 21%, implementing a modified territorial tax system and imposing a one-time repatriation tax on deemed repatriated earnings and profits of U.S.-owned foreign subsidiaries (the Toll Charge). As a fiscal-year taxpayer, we were impacted by certain provisions of the Tax Legislation in fiscal 2018, including the change in the corporate income tax rate and the Toll Charge, while other provisions will be effective starting at the beginning of fiscal 2019, including the implementation of a modified territorial tax system. Accounting for the income tax effects of the Tax Legislation requires significant judgments and estimates in the interpretation and calculations of the provisions of the Tax Legislation.

56


Given the amount and complexity of the changes in tax law resulting from the Tax Legislation, we have not finalized the accounting for the income tax effects of the Tax Legislation related to the Toll Charge. We have made reasonable estimates of the effects and recorded provisional amounts in our consolidated financial statements. The impact of the Tax Legislation related to the Toll Charge may differ from this estimate during the remainder of the one-year measurement period due to, among other things, further refinement of our calculations, changes in interpretations and assumptions we have made, guidance that may be issued and actions we may take as a result of the Tax Legislation. We are in the process of analyzing the effects of new taxes due on certain foreign income, such as GILTI (global intangible low-taxed income), BEAT (base-erosion anti-abuse tax) and FDII (foreign-derived intangible income), and limitations on interest expense deductions (if certain conditions apply), all of which are effective starting in fiscal 2019, as well as other provisions of the Tax Legislation.
Our QCT segment’s non-U.S. headquarters is located in Singapore. During the third quarter of fiscal 2018, we entered into a new tax incentive agreement in Singapore that results in a reduced tax rate from March 2017 through March 2022, provided that we meet specified employment and investment criteria in Singapore. Our Singapore tax rate will increase in March 2022 as a result of expiration of these incentives and again in March 2027 upon the expiration of tax incentives under a prior agreement. As a result of this new tax incentive, our income tax expense for fiscal 2018 was reduced by approximately $130 million. Our failure to meet these criteria could adversely impact our provision for income taxes.
Recent Accounting Pronouncements
Information regarding recent accounting pronouncements and the impact of those pronouncements, if any, on our consolidated financial statements is provided in this Annual Report in “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, Note 1. Significant Accounting Policies.”
Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk
Marketable Securities
We have made investments in marketable equity securities of companies of varying size, style, industry and geography and changes in investment allocations may affect the price volatility of our investments. On October 27, 2016, we announced a definitive agreement under which Qualcomm River Holdings proposed to acquire NXP (the Purchase Agreement). We intended to use a substantial portion of our cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities to fund the NXP transaction. As a result, during fiscal 2017, we divested a substantial portion of our marketable securities portfolio, including our equity securities and fund shares. On July 26, 2018, we terminated the Purchase Agreement and announced that we had been authorized to repurchase up to $30 billion of our common stock. In August 2018, we completed a “modified Dutch auction” tender offer and paid an aggregate of $5.1 billion, excluding fees and related expenses, to repurchase 76.2 million shares of our common stock. In September 2018, we entered into three accelerated share repurchase agreements to repurchase an aggregate of $16.0 billion of our common stock. The actions taken pursuant to our stock repurchase program have significantly reduced the amount of cash available to fund our investments in marketable securities.
Equity Price Risk. The recorded values of our marketable equity securities increased to $167 million at September 30, 2018 from $36 million at September 24, 2017. A 10% decrease in the market price of our marketable equity securities at September 30, 2018 would have caused a decrease in the carrying amounts of these securities of $17 million. A 10% decrease in the market price of our marketable equity securities at September 24, 2017 would have caused a negligible decrease in the carrying amounts of these securities. At September 30, 2018, there were no gross unrealized losses of our marketable equity securities.
Interest Rate Risk. We invest a portion of our cash in a number of diversified fixed- and floating-rate securities consisting of cash equivalents, marketable debt securities, debt funds and time deposits that are subject to interest rate risk. Changes in the general level of interest rates can affect the fair value of our investment portfolio. If interest rates in the general economy were to rise, our holdings could lose value. As a result of divesting a substantial portion of our marketable securities portfolio and changes in portfolio allocation, the fair value of our investment portfolio is subject to lower interest rate risk. At September 30, 2018, a hypothetical increase in interest rates of 100 basis points across the entire yield curve on our holdings would have resulted in a negligible decrease in the fair value of our holdings. At September 24, 2017, a hypothetical increase in interest rates of 100 basis points across the entire yield curve on our holdings would have resulted in a decrease of $26 million in the fair value of our holdings.
Other Investments
Equity Price Risk. We hold investments in non-marketable equity instruments in privately held companies that may be impacted by equity price risks. Volatility in the equity markets could negatively affect our investees’ ability to raise additional capital as well as our ability to realize value from our investments through initial public offerings, mergers and private sales.

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Consequently, we could incur other-than-temporary impairment losses or realized losses on all or a part of the values of our non-marketable equity investments. At September 30, 2018 and September 24, 2017, the aggregate carrying value of our non-marketable equity investments was included in other noncurrent assets and was $1.1 billion and $982 million, respectively.
Debt and Interest Rate Swap Agreements
Interest Rate Risk. At September 30, 2018, we have an aggregate principal amount of $15.5 billion of unsecured floating- and fixed-rate notes with varying maturity dates. We have also entered into interest rate swaps with an aggregate notional amount of $1.8 billion to effectively convert certain fixed-rate interest payments into floating-rate payments. The interest rates on our floating-rate notes and interest rate swaps are based on LIBOR. At September 30, 2018, a hypothetical increase in LIBOR-based interest rates of 100 basis points would cause our interest expense to increase by $22 million on an annualized basis as it relates to our floating-rate notes and interest rate swap agreements. At September 24, 2017, a hypothetical increase in LIBOR-based interest rates of 100 basis points would have caused our interest expense to increase by $46 million on an annualized basis as it relates to our floating-rate notes and interest rate swap agreements.
Additionally, we have a commercial paper program that provides for the issuance of up to $5.0 billion of commercial paper. At September 30, 2018, we had $1.0 billion of commercial paper outstanding, with original maturities of less than three months. Changes in interest rates could affect the amounts of interest that we pay if we refinance the current outstanding commercial paper with new debt.
Additional information regarding our notes and related interest rate swap agreements and commercial paper program is provided in this Annual Report in “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, Note 1. Significant Accounting Policies” and “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, Note 6. Debt.”
Foreign Exchange Risk
We manage our exposure to foreign exchange market risks, when deemed appropriate, through the use of derivative financial instruments, including foreign currency forward and option contracts with financial counterparties. We utilize such derivative financial instruments for hedging or risk management purposes rather than for speculative purposes. Counterparties to our derivative contracts are all major banking institutions. In the event of the financial insolvency or distress of a counterparty to our derivative financial instruments, we may be unable to settle transactions if the counterparty does not provide us with sufficient collateral to secure its net settlement obligations to us, which could have a negative impact on our results. A description of our foreign currency accounting policies is provided in this Annual Report in “Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, Note 1. Significant Accounting Policies.”
At September 30, 2018, our net asset related to foreign currency options designated as hedges of foreign currency risk on royalties earned from certain licensees was negligible. If our forecasted royalty revenues for currencies in which we hedge were to decline by 20% and foreign exchange rates were to change unfavorably by 20% in our hedged foreign currency, we would not incur a loss as our hedge positions would continue to be fully effective.
At September 30, 2018, our net liability related to foreign currency option and forward contracts designated as hedges of foreign currency risk on certain operating expenditure transactions was $18 million. If our forecasted operating expenditures for currencies in which we hedge were to decline by 20% and foreign exchange rates were to change unfavorably by 20% in our hedged foreign currency, we would not incur a loss as our hedge positions would continue to be fully effective.
Financial assets and liabilities held by consolidated subsidiaries that are not denominated in the functional currency of those entities are subject to the effects of currency fluctuations and may affect reported earnings. As a global company, we face exposure to adverse movements in foreign currency exchange rates. We may hedge currency exposures associated with certain assets and liabilities denominated in nonfunctional currencies and certain anticipated nonfunctional currency transactions. As a result, we could experience unanticipated gains or losses on anticipated foreign currency cash flows, as well as economic loss with respect to the recoverability of investments. While we may hedge certain transactions with non-U.S. customers, declines in currency values in certain regions may, if not reversed, adversely affect future product sales because our products may become more expensive to purchase in the countries of the affected currencies.
At September 30, 2018, our net liability related to foreign currency option and forward contracts not designated as hedging instruments used to manage foreign currency risk on certain receivables and payables was negligible. If the foreign exchange rates were to change unfavorably by 20% in our hedged foreign currency, we would not incur a loss as the change in the fair value of the foreign currency option and forward contracts would be offset by the change in fair value of the related receivables and/or payables being economically hedged.
Our analysis methods used to assess and mitigate the risks discussed above should not be considered projections of future risks.

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Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data
Our consolidated financial statements at September 30, 2018 and September 24, 2017 and for each of the three years in the period ended September 30, 2018 and the Report of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm, are included in this Annual Report on pages F-1 through F-49.
Item 9. Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure
None.
Item 9A. Controls and Procedures
Conclusion Regarding the Effectiveness of Disclosure Controls and Procedures
Under the supervision and with the participation of our management, including our principal executive officer and principal financial officer, we conducted an evaluation of our disclosure controls and procedures, as such terms are defined under Rule 13a-15(e) promulgated under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the Exchange Act). Based on this evaluation, our principal executive officer and our principal financial officer concluded that our disclosure controls and procedures were effective as of the end of the period covered by this Annual Report.
Management’s Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting
Our management is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting, as such term is defined in Exchange Act Rule 13a-15(f). Under the supervision and with the participation of our management, including our principal executive officer and principal financial officer, we conducted an evaluation of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting based on the framework in Internal Control — Integrated Framework (2013) issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission. Based on our evaluation under this framework, our management concluded that our internal control over financial reporting was effective as of September 30, 2018.
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, the independent registered public accounting firm that audited the consolidated financial statements included in this Annual Report, has also audited the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of September 30, 2018, as stated in its report which appears on pages F-1 through F-2 in this Annual Report.
Inherent Limitations over Internal Controls
Our internal control over financial reporting is designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of consolidated financial statements for external purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. Our internal control over financial reporting includes those policies and procedures that:
i.
pertain to the maintenance of records that, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of our assets;
ii.
provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of consolidated financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and that our receipts and expenditures are being made only in accordance with authorizations of our management and directors; and
iii.
provide reasonable assurance regarding prevention or timely detection of unauthorized acquisition, use or disposition of our assets that could have a material effect on the consolidated financial statements.
Internal control over financial reporting cannot provide absolute assurance of achieving financial reporting objectives because of its inherent limitations, including the possibility of human error and circumvention by collusion or overriding of controls. Accordingly, even an effective internal control system may not prevent or detect material misstatements on a timely basis. Also, projections of any evaluation of effectiveness to future periods are subject to the risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions or that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate.
Changes in Internal Control over Financial Reporting
There were no changes in our internal control over financial reporting during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018 that have materially affected, or are reasonably likely to materially affect, our internal control over financial reporting.
Item 9B. Other Information
None.

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Part III
Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance
The information required by this item regarding directors is incorporated by reference to our 2019 Proxy Statement under the headings “Nominees for Election” and “Section 16(a) Beneficial Ownership Reporting Compliance.” Certain information required by this item regarding executive officers is set forth in Item 1 of Part I of this Report under the caption “Executive Officers,” and certain information is incorporated by reference to the 2019 Proxy Statement under the heading “Section 16(a) Beneficial Ownership Reporting Compliance.” The information required by this item regarding corporate governance is incorporated by reference to the 2019 Proxy Statement under the headings “Code of Ethics and Corporate Governance Principles and Practices,” “Director Nominations” and “Board Meetings, Committees and Attendance.”
Item 11. Executive Compensation
The information required by this item is incorporated by reference to the 2019 Proxy Statement under the headings “Executive Compensation and Related Information,” “Compensation Tables and Narrative Disclosures,” “Director Compensation,” “Compensation Committee Interlocks and Insider Participation” and “Compensation Committee Report.”
Item 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters
The information required by this item is incorporated by reference to the 2019 Proxy Statement under the headings “Equity Compensation Plan Information” and “Stock Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management.”
Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence
The information required by this item is incorporated by reference to the 2019 Proxy Statement under the headings “Certain Relationships and Related-Person Transactions” and “Director Independence.”
Item 14. Principal Accounting Fees and Services
The information required by this item is incorporated by reference to the 2019 Proxy Statement under the heading “Fees for Professional Services” and “Policy on Audit Committee Pre-Approval of Audit and Non-Audit Services of Independent Public Accountants.”
PART IV
Item 15. Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules
The following documents are filed as part of this report:
(a) Financial Statements:
 
 
Page
 
 
 
Number
 
(1) Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm
 
F-1
 
Consolidated Balance Sheets at September 30, 2018 and September 24, 2017
 
F-3
 
Consolidated Statements of Operations for Fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016
 
F-4
 
Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive (Loss) Income for Fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016
 
F-5
 
Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows for Fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016
 
F-6
 
Consolidated Statements of Stockholders’ Equity for Fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016
 
F-7
 
Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements
 
F-8
 
(2) Schedule II - Valuation and Qualifying Accounts for Fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016
 
S-1
 
Financial statement schedules other than those listed above have been omitted because they are either not required, not applicable or the information is otherwise included in the notes to the consolidated financial statements.
(b) Exhibits

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Exhibit
Number
 
Exhibit Description
 
Form
 
File No./ Film No.
 
Date of First Filing
 
Exhibit Number
 
Filed Herewith
2.1
 
 
8-K
 
000-19528/ 161339867

 
1/13/2016

 
2.1
 
 
2.2
 
 
10-Q
 
000-19528/ 17546539
 
1/25/2017
 
2.3
 
 
2.3
 
 
10-Q
 
000-19528/ 17546539
 
1/25/2017
 
2.4
 
 
2.4
 
 
10-Q
 
000-19528/
17770305
 
4/19/2017
 
2.6
 
 
2.5
 
 
8-K
 
000-19528/ 161956228

 
10/27/2016
 
2.1
 
 
2.6
 
 
8-K
 
000-19528/ 18623109
 
2/20/2018
 
2.1
 
 
2.7
 
 
8-K
 
000-19528/ 18762502
 
4/19/2018
 
2.1
 
 
3.1
 
 
8-K
 
000-19528/ 18766678
 
4/20/2018
 
3.1
 
 
3.2
 
 
8-K
 
000-19528/ 18957073
 
7/17/2018
 
3.1
 
 
4.1
 
 
8-K
 
000-19528/ 15880967
 
5/21/2015
 
4.1
 
 
4.2
 
 
8-K
 
000-19528/ 15880967
 
5/21/2015
 
4.2
 
 
4.3
 
 
8-K
 
000-19528/ 15880967
 
5/21/2015
 
4.4
 
 
4.4
 
 
8-K
 
000-19528/ 15880967
 
5/21/2015
 
4.6
 
 
4.5