Mobile technology patents are better understood around handsets and 3G and less so around 4G and non-handset mobile devices. Data devices are a different beast when it comes to the attach point of mobile technology royalties. Understanding how devices other than handsets are treated by patent holders is vital in gauging the mobile royalties costs involved and for successfully negotiating with patent holders. While the uncertainty and assumed costs of mobile royalties on certain mobile device types is a barrier to their success, the situation is not as bad as many in the industry presume.
ABI Research presents a summary of revenues by device type and explains several key reasons why 4G royalties for handsets are so dominant. It illustrates the attach point percentages and how that might change over time. It compares the 2012 and 2017 share of 4G royalty revenue that will go to handsets versus non-handset mobile devices and breaks out the share for data devices. Finally this is put in perspective with a potential retaliation of Samsung against Apple.