Qualcomm: Not Exactly An Overnight Success

After a decade, Qualcomm's wireless standard takes off

Qualcomm Inc. Chairman Irwin M. Jacobs jokes about it now. But at the time, the rocky debut of his pioneering wireless technology was anything but funny. He had cajoled 300 industry leaders into showing up at his tiny San Diego company while outside, workers were loading a 30-pound, PC-like gizmo with a phone receiver dangling off the side into a big white van.

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