Mobile chip giant Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) has tapped fresh 52-week highs, levels it hasn't seen since the tech bubble. Still, Qualcomm has lagged the broader market so far this year, with its 10% gain underperforming the S&P 500. Investor sentiment has been negative, in part due to skepticism over where the smartphone market can go from here.

Concerns over smartphone saturation and deceleration have weighed on smartphone vendors, but that also carries over to Qualcomm. Unit deceleration is one thing, but falling average selling prices from competition also have negative implications on Qualcomm's lucrative licensing business. The company also fell after its last earnings release due to less-than-stellar guidance, but investors may be realizing that pessimism was misplaced. On top of that, competition is heating up as NVIDIA prepares to launch Tegra 4i early next year, and Intel is now shipping its first multi-mode LTE baseband modem. 

In this segment of Tech Teardown, Erin Kennedy discusses Qualcomm with Evan Niu, CFA, our tech and telecom bureau chief.