RFID Market Seen Surpassing $5 Billion in 2008

Greatest growth coming in national schemes for transportation and ID cards, but strong takeoff projected in retail outside current mandates, IDTechEx reports

Cambridge, MA — February 13, 2008 — The new IDTechEx report "RFID Forecasts, Players & Opportunities 2008-2018" is the summation of research conducted in late 2007 and early 2008, including interviews with RFID adopters and solution providers in the various RFID markets. Here Raghu Das, CEO of IDTechEx, summarizes some of the findings.

In 2008 the value of the entire radio frequency identification (RFID) market will be $5.29 billion, up from $4.93 billion in 2007, including tags, readers and software/services for RFID cards, labels, fobs and all other form factors.

The majority of this value is due to large national RFID schemes for transportation and national ID, incorporating contactless (RFID) cards. For example, China has almost finished issuing each citizen a national ID RFID card.

The tagging of pallets and cases as demanded by retailers (mostly in the U.S. market) will use approximately 325 million RFID labels in 2008, but we see strong take off in retail outside mandates, such as from Marks & Spencer, which has used well over 100 million RFID tags to date.

The tagging of animals (such as pigs and sheep) is quickly taking off as it becomes a legal requirement in many more territories, with 90 million tags being used for this sector in 2008. This is happening in regions such as China and Australasia.

In total, 2.16 billion tags will be sold in 2008 compared with 1.74 billion in 2007 and 1.02 billion in 2006.

By 2018, the market value will be over five times the size of the market compared to 2008, but the number of tags supplied will be over 300 times that of 2008, driven by the development of lower cost tags and installed infrastructure which will enable high volumes of articles to be tagged.

The following figure shows the IDTechEx market projections of RFID in 2008, 2013 and 2018.

What Really Happened in 2007?

At the start of 2008, the cumulative number of RFID tags sold over the last 65 years was 6.02 billion. The following table shows the number of tags sold by application in 2007.

RFID Forecasts by Market

Forecasts by market vertical for tags only are shown below. These include active and passive tags.