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Passive RFID Sees Growth of Over 1 Billion Tags in 2014 to Almost 7 Billion

Market research and events firm IDTechEx find that the passive RFID tag market is now seeing tremendous volume growth – more than five years later than the industry had expected. Most of the growth is based on retailer adoption of UHF RFID for shelf-level stock replenishment, with the latest example being fashion retailer Zara recently announcing its intention to roll out RFID to approximately 2,000 stores by 2016.

The growth in numbers for the main two passive RFID frequencies – HF and UHF – are shown in the image below (LF RFID not shown).

RFID Forecasts, Players & Opportunities 2014-2024 - source IDTechEx RFID

RFID Forecasts, Players & Opportunities 2014-2024 – source IDTechEx RFID

IDTechEx forecast in the new report RFID Forecasts, Players & Opportunities 2014-2024 that 25 billion RFID tags will be used on retail apparel and shoes in 2020 and a similar number on other “high value, high complexity mix” items. Many other segments are taking off thanks to standardized, reliable technology where applications outside of retail are leveraging the considerable investment put in by RFID suppliers to address retailer needs.

Average tag prices in HF RFID are typically higher than UHF tags, often due to the need for greater security and therefore IC complexity, for example for payment applications. While NFC has been a failure so far due to lack of resolve between payment, telecoms and phone companies, it may be that Apple sets it on the right path and NFC begins to see traction over the coming years.

Progress by territory: IDTechEx has found some striking territorial differences, as summarized in the chart below. UHF adoption is strongest in the US and Europe, and relatively weak in Asia in terms of number of tags, although tag production is increasingly moving there. In contrast, HF adoption has been strong in all territories, but particularly in Asia.

Dark green means stronger market sectors and Light green are weaker market sectors - Source IDTechEx RFID

Dark green means stronger market sectors and Light green are weaker market sectors – Source IDTechEx RFID

Overall, IDTechEx find that in 2014, the total RFID market is worth $8.89 billion, up from $7.77 billion in 2013 and $6.96 billion in 2012. This includes tags, readers and software/services for RFID cards, labels, fobs and all other form factors. IDTechEx forecast that to rise to $27.31 billion in 2024.

Market analysis by a huge number of parameters: Using new, unique information researched globally by IDTechEx technical experts, we analyze the RFID market in many different ways in the report RFID Forecasts, Players & Opportunities 2014-2024 . Full analysis by each market is given in great detail including in-depth historic data by application type from 2005 year by year to 2020 and with a 2024 outlook. For passive RFID, forecasts are provided separately for over 15 application areas. For each we provide the number of tags, average sales price and total value of tags.

For more details see IDTechEX RFID

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