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RFID Forecasts, Players and Opportunities 2017-2027

The complete analysis of the global RFID industry

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IDTechEx Research has analyzed the RFID market for over 18 years. This report provides detailed data and analysis of the entire RFID sector based on our extensive research including interviews with RFID adopters and solution providers in the various applicational RFID markets, giving an unprecedented level of insight into the total RFID industry and what is really happening. Predominately, our research is conducted through interviews with companies across the value chain (many of whom provide data to us through non disclosure agreements who allow us to aggregate the data into the total) in addition to site visits and conference visits followed by secondary research.
This comprehensive report from IDTechEx gives the complete picture covering passive RFID, battery assisted passive, active RFID, Real Time Locating Systems (RTLS) and chipless RFID. It provides detailed forecasts and depth unmatched by any other.
IDTechEx find that in 2017, the total RFID market will be worth $11.2 billion, up from $10.52 billion in 2016 and $9.95 billion in 2015. This includes tags, readers and software/services for RFID labels, cards, fobs and all other form factors, for both passive and active RFID. IDTechEx forecast that to rise to $14.9 billion in 2022.
In retail, RFID continues to be adopted for apparel tagging above all other applications by volume - that application alone will demand 8.7 billion RFID labels in 2017 - which still has some way to go with RFID penetrating less than 20% of the total addressable market for apparel in 2017. RFID in the form of tickets used for transit will demand 825 million tags in 2017. The tagging of animals (such as pigs, sheep and pets) is substantial as it continues to be a legal requirement in many more territories, with 480 million tags being used for this sector in 2017.
In total, IDTechEx expects that 18.2 billion tags will be sold in 2017 versus 15.2 billion in 2016. Most of that growth is from passive UHF RFID (RAIN RFID) labels. However, in 2017 UHF (RAIN RFID) tag sales by value will only be 25% of the value of HF tag sales, mainly because HF tags where used for security (such as payments, access etc) have a higher price point versus the cheaper, usually disposable UHF (RAIN) tags used for tagging things.
Total RFID Market in US$ billions*
*For the full forecast data please purchase this report
Source: IDTechEx
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. Full analysis by each market is given in great detail including in-depth historic data by application type from 2005 year by year to 2022 and with a 2027 outlook. For passive RFID, forecasts are provided separately for the following application areas and for each we provide the number of tags, average sales price and total value of tags:
In addition, ten year forecasts are provided for battery assisted passive and active RFID and RTLS in the following applications:
  • Pharma/Healthcare
  • Cold retail supply chain
  • Consumer goods
  • Postal
  • Manufacturing parts, tools
  • Archiving (samples)
  • Military
  • Retail CPG Pallet/case
  • Shelf Edge Labels
  • Conveyances/Rollcages/ULD/Totes
  • Vehicles
  • People (excluding other sectors)
  • Car clickers
  • Other tag applications
Additionally, the report provides units, asp and total value for RFID readers as follows:
  • UHF Fixed portal
  • UHF Embedded and handheld
  • HF and LF Hand held, fixed, embedded
  • LF Vehicle
  • NFC Cellphone
The research conducted by IDTechEx ultimately provides ten year forecasts by application area including tags, readers, software and services for the following markets:
  • Retail
  • Healthcare and medical
  • Passenger transport/automotive
  • Land, sea logistics and post
  • Animals and farming
  • Airlines and airports
  • Financial, Security
  • Manufacturing
  • Leisure/sports
  • Consumer products
  • Other
Data is also provided for other sectors including market by territory, value chain positioning, NFC, chip vs chipless and more. Cumulative sales of RFID are analyzed. Progress of key companies is provided in addition to a matrix of hundreds of suppliers.
Interpretation of data
Taking the core data, IDTechEx interprets it in this report to identify aspects such as: Which sectors are booming and which are under performing? Which suppliers and profitable and why? What are the hot sectors? And much more.
For example, after extensive interviews with suppliers, IDTechEx find that there are now emerging or established leaders in most positions of the value chain across the different technologies - yet still very few companies have sales of more than $100 million. There are still many opportunities, which are assessed in this report.
Our level of detailed analysis allows us to account for data throughout the value chain, for example, inlay sales lag the number of IC sales by a number of months which is taken into account in our forecasts.
Who are the winners and emerging winners
Major players now and in the future in the various parts of the value chain are identified and the big orders and milestones now and in the future are analyzed. Those doing well in numbers sold are sometimes much less impressive in dollars taken and vice versa. Of course, not everyone will want to serve the severely price constrained, highest volume markets. For them, we examine many large niches that are emerging and many smaller opportunities where there is even less competition.
Why IDTechEx
IDTechEx has researched RFID markets, suppliers and technologies since 1999. Our coverage is
  • Global. Our technical analysts interview companies around the world from bases in three continents.
  • Accurate. Our ongoing research and engagements with most of the significant RFID players in the industry gives us unprecedented detail.
  • Opinionated and proven. We have correctly forecast the times of over and undersupply, opportunities, trends and reality versus hype
  • User driven. We assess markets by the value RFID provides - user pull rather than technology push.
Raw Data
In addition to the report - in PDF format - you will receive a spreadsheet in Excel format giving you access to the key data contained in tables throughout the report. A printed copy of the report is also optionally available.
Analyst access from IDTechEx
All report purchases include up to 30 minutes telephone time with an expert analyst who will help you link key findings in the report to the business issues you're addressing. This needs to be used within three months of purchasing the report.
Further information
If you have any questions about this report, please do not hesitate to contact our report team at or call one of our sales managers:

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Table of Contents
1.1.RFID Market 2017-2027
1.1.Total RFID market projections in US dollar billions 2017-2027
1.1.IDTechEx estimates of total revenue for some of the key suppliers
1.2.RFID market by territory
1.2.Market size by application type $ billions 2017-2027
1.2.Market size by application type 2017-2027
1.3.How governments have driven most of the market
1.3.The largest RFID markets in 2017 versus 2027
1.3.Number of case studies by tag location - worldwide
1.4.Number of case studies by project status - worldwide
1.4.Number of passive UHF tags (in millions) 2017-2027
1.4.Non-government successes
1.5.Fragmented value chain
1.5.Average price of passive UHF tags (US$ Cents) 2017-2027
1.5.Number of case studies active vs passive - worldwide
1.6.Number of case studies by frequency - worldwide
1.6.Total value of passive UHF tags 2017-2027 US$ million
1.6.RFID Companies by gross sales
1.7.Favourite RFID frequency
1.7.Number of passive HF tags (in millions) 2017-2027
1.7.Number of case studies by applications - worldwide
1.8.Number of case studies by tag shape - worldwide
1.8.Average price of passive HF tags (US$ Cents) 2017-2027
1.8.RFID market forecasts for passive RFID tags by application and frequency
1.8.1.Passive UHF RFID
1.8.2.Passive HF RFID
1.8.3.Passive LF RFID
1.9.RFID market forecasts for battery assisted passive RFID, active RFID and Real Time Locating Systems RTLS tags by application
1.9.Total value of passive HF tags 2017-2027
1.9.RFID is part of the IoT ecosystem
1.10.Number of passive LF tags (in millions) 2017-2027
1.10.Market by Territory
1.11.Watch the BRICS
1.11.Average price of passive LF tags (US$ Cents) 2017-2027
1.11.1.Progress in China
1.12.Analysis of RFID case studies
1.12.Total value of passive LF tags 2017-2027
1.13.Number of active tags (in millions) 2017-2027
1.13.RFID and IoT
1.14.Impediments to the growth of RFID markets
1.14.Average price of active tags (US$ Cents) 2017-2027
1.15.Total value of active tags 2017-2027
1.15.Outlook for RFID
2.1.Largest suppliers
2.1.The RFID value chain
2.1.2.Chipless/printed RFID
2.1.3.Passive and active RFID
2.2.Tags have different shapes
2.2.Where RFID tags are placed - categories used
2.2.An AstraZeneca syringe with chipless RFID tag
2.3.RFID from cradle to grave
2.3.Money spent on various RFID projects by different applications
2.3.The RFID value chain
2.4.Where tags are placed
2.4.Cumulative global sales of RFID tags by applicational category to start of 2017 in millions
2.4.Marks & Spencer reusable plastic trays for food
2.5.Marks & Spencer paybacks
2.5.The cumulative global sales of RFID tags active vs passive in millions to the beginning of 2017 excluding NFC mobile phones emulating tags
2.5.Examples of spend by application
2.6.The show so far - 1945 to 2016
2.6.Cumulative global sales of RFID tags chip vs chipless to the beginning of 2017 in millions
2.6.Costs per annum for RF Tags
2.6.1.Cumulative sales by applicational category
2.6.2.Cumulative sales active vs passive
2.6.3.Cumulative sales chip vs chipless
2.7.Historic RFID tag sales 2005 to 2016
2.7.Value of RFID passive tag market in 2005
2.7.RFID and the hype curve for pallets/cases
2.7.1.Progress in 2005
2.7.2.Progress in 2008
2.7.3.Progress in 2011
2.7.4.Progress in 2014
2.7.5.Progress in 2015
2.7.6.Progress in 2016
2.8.Ultimate potential
2.8.Value of RFID active tag market in 2005
2.8.Some in-store benefits of apparel tagging now enjoyed by about 100 retail chains
2.8.1.Potential for different applications
2.9.Demand pull
2.9.Value Chain 2005
2.10.Value of RFID passive tag market in 2008
2.10.Constraints on market growth
2.11.RFID Standards (ISO)
2.11.Value of RFID active tag market in 2008
2.12.Value Chain 2008
2.13.Progress with EPC adoption so far
2.13.Value of RFID passive tag market in 2011
2.14.Value of RFID active tag market in 2011
2.14.Near Field Communication (NFC)
2.15.Impediments to highest volume RFID
2.15.Value Chain 2011
2.16.Value of RFID passive UHF tag market in 2014
2.17.Value of RFID passive HF tag market in 2014
2.18.Value of RFID passive LF tag market in 2014
2.19.Value of RFID active tag market in 2014
2.20.Value Chain 2014
2.21.Value of RFID passive UHF tag market in 2015
2.22.Value of RFID passive HF tag market in 2015
2.23.Value of RFID passive LF tag market in 2015
2.24.Value of RFID active tag market in 2015
2.25.Value Chain 2015
2.26.Value of RFID passive UHF tag market in 2016
2.27.Value of RFID passive HF tag market in 2016
2.28.Value of RFID passive LF tag market in 2016
2.29.Value of RFID active tag market in 2016
2.30.Value Chain 2016
2.31.Ultimate potential annual global sales of some of the most promising tagged things that have potential for up to one billion tags used yearly
2.32.Ultimate potential annual global sales for some of the most promising tagged things with potential of over one billion tags yearly
2.33.Costs per annum for barcodes
2.34.Comparison of NFC enabled devices and contactless smart cards
2.35.The main impediments to highest volume RFID
3.1.Market split by position
3.1.Total RFID market projections in US dollar billions 2017-2027
3.1.Cost structure of passive and active RFID projects
3.2.Principle of automatic mail registrations with RFID
3.2.Market size by application type $ billions 2017-2027
3.2.Market size by application
3.2.1.Market size by tag value by application
3.3.Mobile AMQM - equipment and practical use
3.3.Prevalence of RFID projects for each applicational sector
3.3.IDTechEx RFID Knowledgebase 2015 - number of cases by applicational sector
3.4.Future trends for the applicational sectors with the most projects
3.4.Future trend of projects for each applicational sector
3.4.Mail pipeline instrumentation
3.5.GMS RFID Gate
3.5.Current and future forms of payback by applicational sector
3.5.Benefits most commonly sought and payback most commonly claimed by sector
3.6.Healthcare and pharmaceuticals
3.6.Tagged mail pieces
3.7.Basic supply chain overview
3.7.Postal and courier services
3.8.Retail and Consumer Packaged Goods
3.8.Real time monitoring of the RFID infrastructure
3.8.1.Pallet/case tagging
3.8.2.Retail apparel, item level
3.9.System architecture
3.9.Military and federal
3.10.Airlines and Airports
3.10.US Navy program for the ship of the future based on RFID and allied technologies
3.11.What part of the problem are we solving?
3.11.Logistics, Asset Tracking, Manufacturing
3.12.Driving adoption
3.13.Examples of laundry tags
3.13.Secure access and contactless payments
3.14.Smart Ticketing and e-Passports
3.14.Typical laundry process
3.15.Woven, stitchable RFID tags, the one on the left being HF and the one on the right UHF
3.15.Laundry/rented textiles
3.16.RFID in fibre
3.17.RFID embedded in consumer electronics devices
4.1.Global market for active vs passive RFID tags by number billions 2017-2027
4.1.Passive RFID applications in packaging and containers by range
4.1.Passive vs active
4.2.Sub categories of passive tag
4.2.RFID range versus cost
4.2.Global market for active vs passive RFID tags by average tag price in cents 2017-2027
4.3.Global market for active vs passive RFID tags in billions of dollars 2017-2027
4.3.RFID system being developed for the flower industry
4.3.Cost Structure of RFID passive tags - labels
4.4.Passive market by applicational sector
4.4.Standardized EPCIS architecture
4.4.Approximate cost breakdown for a passive RFID for both UHF and HF, prices are given in US Dollar cents, assuming millions of tags
4.5.The top four developments of printed transistor RFID
4.5.The best flexible printed transistor RFID so far - Thin Film Electronics 128 bit semi read write ISO 14443 compatible
4.5.The main things that are passive tagged
4.6.Passive RFID market by range
4.6.NFC Deployment Options
4.6.Cumulative global sales of RFID tags chip vs chipless to the beginning of 2017 in millions
4.7.RFID technologies by range and cost
4.7.1.Read range and tag cost
4.7.2.RFID Systems/Middleware
4.8.EPC Gen 2 v2
4.9.Chipless passive tags
4.9.1.Chipless options
4.9.2.Latest progress with printed transistor RFID
4.9.3.Forecast for chip vs chipless/printed tags
4.10.1.NFC background
4.10.2.Beyond payments and transit
4.10.3.Turning point
4.10.4.Phone Payments: MasterCard and Apple
5.1.Markets for passive UHF - by number of tags
5.1.Number of passive UHF tags (in millions) 2017-2027
5.2.Average price of passive UHF tags (US$ Cents) 2017-2027
5.2.Market for passive UHF RFID by average price and tag value
5.3.Analysis of passive UHF RFID markets
5.3.Total value of passive UHF tags 2017-2027 US$ million
6.1.Passive HF RFID
6.1.Number of passive HF tags (in millions) 2017-2027
6.2.Average price of passive HF tags (US$ Cents) 2017-2027
6.2.Passive LF RFID
6.3.Total value of passive HF tags 2017-2027
6.4.Number of passive LF tags (in millions) 2017-2027
6.5.Average price of passive LF tags (US$ Cents) 2017-2027
6.6.Total value of passive LF tags 2017-2027
7.1.V curve of sustainable profitability vs gross sales value
7.2.Three generations of active RFID
7.2.Three Generations
7.2.Main things tagged with active RFID tags in terms of number of projects in the IDTechEx RFID Knowledgebase or numbers used
7.3.Active RFID in the prison and parole service
7.3.Active market by applicational sector
7.3.Read range versus frequency
7.4.Interaction of RFID, sensing and the internet.
7.4.The main things that are active tagged
7.4.Global potential annually for active RFID systems plus tags in the prison and parole service
7.5.Number of active tags (in millions) 2017-2027
7.5.Active RFID market by range
7.5.Total WSN Market 2010-2014 ($ millions)
7.6.Electronic Shelf Labels (ESLs)
7.6.Active RFID market by battery type
7.6.Average price of active tags (US$ Cents) 2017-2027
7.6.1.Energy Harvesting and RFID
7.7.Data for SES, the current leader in this sector
7.7.Total value of active tags 2017-2027
7.7.New active technologies create new markets
7.7.1.Hand-held homing devices
7.7.2.New markets - Battery Assisted Passive (BAP)
7.7.3.Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)
7.7.4.The Internet of Things and Wireless Sensor Networks
7.8.Systems, devices and interfaces that are now used by active RFID, or combined with it, in small portable devices
7.8.An example of massive 'niches'
7.8.Forecast for the value of global sales of active systems excluding tags & cellphones 2017-2027 in millions of dollars
7.8.1.The prison / correctional facility and parole service opportunity
7.8.2.Electronic Shelf Labels (ESLs)
7.9.Forecast for the value of global sales of RFID systems including tags, for vehicle clickers, BAP, SALs and other applications 2017-2027 in millions of dollars
7.9.Technologies facilitating growth
7.10.Forecasts for active RFID tags
7.10.Sectors, locations and application examples of Active RFID players
7.11.Forecasts for systems
7.11.1.The spend on active RFID systems
7.11.2.Active RFID players
8.1.Market for RFID interrogators by application, number millions 2017-2027
8.2.RFID Interrogator (reader) numbers
8.2.Market for RFID interrogators by application, reader price US dollars 2017-2027
8.3.Market for RFID interrogators by application, US dollars millions 2017-2027
8.3.RFID Interrogator (reader) price
8.4.RFID Interrogator (reader) market value
9.1.Percentage share of total RFID market value by continent 2014, 2017, 2020
9.1.Leading continents
9.1.Top Ten Countries by number of case studies in the IDTechEx RFID Knowledgebase
9.2.RFID Value chain in China
9.2.Geographical trends in number of projects
9.2.Primary differences across the world in types of RFID project by number of projects, with anomalies in top preferences highlighted
9.3.Central and East Asia trends in project numbers
9.3.Chinese RFID card/tag application market value by frequency band in 2014
9.4.Americas trends in project numbers
9.5.Europe trends in project numbers
10.1.Examples of dominant companies in the chip to label value chain
10.1.Dynamics of the RFID value chain
10.1.RFID value chain
10.2.Detailed value chain and dynamics
10.2.Successes and revenues
10.2.Market share for producers of passive UHF labels in 2013
10.3.Examples of some dominant companies in the UHF RFID reader value chain
10.3.Largest orders, best selling products, dominant suppliers in future
10.3.IDTechEx estimates of total revenue for some of the key suppliers
10.3.1.Largest suppliers of chips
10.3.1.UHF RFID readers
10.3.2.Largest suppliers of tags, inlets, straps and detailed value chain for high volume
10.3.2.Largest suppliers of software and services
10.3.3.Equipment supply
10.4.Summary and outlook
10.4.Position of RFID suppliers to certain sectors, following the methodology of Boston Consulting Group
10.5.Competing value chains for tags

Report Statistics

Pages 166
Tables 89
Figures 58
Forecasts to 2027

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