The total value of the worldwide RFID market is expected to reach $7.46 billion in 2012, up from $6.37 billion in 2011. In total, four billion tags will be sold in 2012, a sharp increase from the 2.9 billion tags consumed in 2011.
The market forecast from IDTechEx includes tags, readers and software/services for RFID cards, labels, fobs and all other form factors. It includes passive and active RFID.
The retail sector continues to see strong demand for RFID tags, especially for apparel tagging. The IDTechEx report says that apparel will consume one billion RFID labels in 2012, growing to 1.35 billion in 2013. Ticketing in the transportation sector will demand 500 million tags in 2012.
The report states that RFID orders are up by 10 percent, often much higher, in many applications. This is due primarily to the growth of passive UHF systems for tagging apparel and many closed loop applications.
Governments are also driving strong growth by mandating the use of RFID, such as on animals in New Zealand and Europe. Government bodies often have access to large sums of capital to pursue RFID systems, from local governments pursuing non-stop road tolling and library tagging to national governments increasingly buying national ID cards, passports and other forms of RFID. However, the IDTechEx report shows that military spending on RFID is down from previous highs. (see RFID 24-7’s coverage on the declining government market in the U.S.)
IDTechEx predicts that the RFID market will grow four-fold over the next 10 years, reaching a $26.2 billion market in 2022.