The RFID market bounced back in 2010 from the economic setbacks of 2008 and 2009. The 2010 market grew slightly more than 14 percent to reach roughly $5.3 billion.
If you take out automobile immobilization from the total, the market grew close to 18 percent, reaching nearly $4.4 billion. ABI Research's ongoing study and data collection efforts reveal a projected total market size of nearly $6 billion in 2011, reflecting slightly more than 11 percent growth. The 2011 forecast without automobile immobilization is $5 billion, growing in excess of 14 percent over 2010.
The research firm foresees variation in demand and the pace of adoption between applications, verticals, regions and technologies, with the retail apparel sector in particular displaying something of a slowdown in growth this year. However, the bottom line is that across the market as a whole we continue to see strong potential for future growth.
"The fastest-growing application between now and 2016 will be item-level tracking in supply chain management, which ABI Research estimates will exceed a 37 percent growth rate," noted research director Michael Liard. This growth is being driven by high-volume demand for passive UHF systems to support: retail apparel tagging in US, Europe and other select country markets; pharmaceutical tagging in Korea due to government compliance; wine, tobacco and other anti-counterfeiting tagging efforts, notably in China; and ther items over long term, including cosmetics, consumer electronics, etc.
"The fastest-growing verticals over our five-year forecast period (in descending order) will be retail CPG, retail in-store, healthcare and life sciences, diverse non-CPG manufacturing, and commercial services," said Liard. More specifically, primary RFID applications can be broken down into "traditional" and "modernizing" types. In the former group are access control, animal ID, automotive immobilization, AVI and e-ID documents. The modernizing category includes asset management, baggage handling, cargo tracking and security, point-of-sale contactless payment, real-time location, supply chain management, and ticketing.
The 2011–2016 CAGR for aggregated modernizing applications is expected to be double that of the traditional applications cluster.