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RFID Forecasts, Players and Opportunities 2019-2029

The complete analysis of the global RFID industry

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IDTechEx Research has analyzed the RFID market for over 20 years. This report provides detailed data and analysis of the entire RFID sector based on our extensive research including interviews with RFID adopters and technology 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 under 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 (for UHF, HF and LF frequencies), battery assisted passive, active RFID and chipless RFID. It provides detailed forecasts and depth unmatched by any other.
IDTechEx find that in 2019, the total RFID market will be worth $11.6 Billion, rising to $13 Billion in 2022. This includes tags, readers and software/services for RFID labels, cards, fobs and all other form factors, for both passive and active RFID.
In retail, RFID continues to be adopted for apparel tagging above all other applications by volume - that application alone will demand over 10 Billion RFID labels in 2019 - which still has some way to go with RFID penetrating only about 10% of the total addressable market for apparel in 2019. RFID in the form of contactless cards will demand 2.3 Billion cards in 2019, driven by contactless payment, transit and secure access applications. In a completely different sector again, the tagging of animals (such as pigs, sheep and pets) is substantial as it continues to be a legal requirement in many more territories, with 580 million tags being used for this sector in 2019.
In total, IDTechEx expects that 20 billion tags will be sold in 2019 versus 17.5 billion in 2018. Most of that growth is from passive UHF RFID (RAIN RFID) labels. However, in 2019 UHF (RAIN RFID) tag sales by value will only be 25% of the value of HF tag sales (including NFC), mainly because HF tags where used for security (such as payments, access etc) have a higher price point versus the cheaper, usually disposable UHF (RAIN) tags used for tagging things.
Total RFID Market in US$ 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 to 2018, followed by a forecast from 2019 and every year thereafter to 2024. We additionally give a long term 2029 outlook.
For passive RFID, forecasts are provided separately for the application areas listed below and for each application area at each frequency we provide the number of tags, average sales price and total value of tags:
RAIN (UHF) RFID tag sales by numbers, 2018-2029 (data blurred for sample)
In addition, ten-year forecasts are provided for battery assisted passive and active RFID.
Additionally, the report provides units, asp and total value for RFID readers in the following categories:
• UHF Fixed portal
• UHF Embedded and handheld
• HF and LF Handheld, 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 trends 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.
A price teardown is conducted for the two main types of passive RFID inlays - UHF and HF RFID.
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 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 four 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 access to the key data contained in tables throughout the report.
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.Brief History of RFID
1.2.RFID Market 2018-2029
1.3.Total RFID market projections 2018-2029, $ billions
1.4.Largest markets in 2019 vs 2029
1.5.Governments spend big on RFID
1.6.Non-government successes
1.7.Favourite RFID frequencies
1.8.Value chain and RFID tag types
1.9.RFID companies by gross sales
1.10.RFID market forecasts for passive RFID tags by application and frequency
1.11.Passive UHF (RAIN) RFID tag numbers 2018-2029, millions
1.12.Passive UHF (RAIN) RFID tag numbers 2018-2024, millions
1.13.RAIN RFID: The Highlights
1.14.UHF (RAIN) RFID Trends
1.15.Boom in 2016
1.16.Number of passive UHF tags 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 in millions
1.17.UHF (RAIN) RFID Tag Value 2014-2024, $ millions
1.18.RAIN RFID ICs versus tag numbers sold
1.19.RAIN RFID IC Sales 2015-2018
1.20.Passive HF (13.56MHz, NFC) RFID tag numbers 2018-2029, millions
1.21.Passive HF (13.56MHz, NFC) RFID tag numbers 2018-2024, millions
1.22.HF/NFC RFID: The Highlights
1.23.Passive LF (125KHz, 134KHz) RFID tag numbers 2018-2029, millions
1.24.RFID market forecasts for battery assisted passive RFID, active RFID tag numbers 2018-2029, millions
1.25.RFID market forecasts for battery assisted passive RFID, active RFID tag numbers 2018-2024, millions
1.26.Change in active RFID systems due to BLE and LPWAN
1.27.Trends by territory
1.28.Progress with RFID in China
1.29.RFID and IoT
1.30.The IoT Ecosystem
1.31.Impediments to the growth of RFID markets
1.32.Threats to passive RFID: machine vision?
1.33.Outlook for RFID
2.2.RFID operating principles
2.3.RFID system choices
2.4.RFID technologies: the big picture
2.5.Passive RFID
2.6.Passive RFID Systems
2.7.Battery Assisted Passive /Semi Active tags
2.8.Examples of Battery Assisted Passive (BAP) RFID sensors
2.9.Active RFID
2.10.Distinguishing things a long way away with active RFID
2.11.Real Time Locating Systems (RTLS)
2.12.Change in Active RFID and RTLS Systems due to BLE and LPWAN
2.13.RFID Sensors: main choices
2.14.RFID sensors
2.15.Applications of RFID
2.16.Cumulative Sales of RFID
2.16.1.Cumulative Sales of RFID by Application to the beginning of 2018
2.16.2.Cumulative sales chip vs chipless
2.17.Historic RFID tag sales 2005 to 2018 tag sales in units, ASP, tag value $ millions tag sales in units, ASP, tag value $ millions tag sales in units, ASP, tag value $ millions tag sales in units, ASP, tag value $ millions tag sales in units, ASP, tag value $ millions tag sales in units, ASP, tag value $ millions tag sales in units, ASP, tag value $ millions tag sales in units, ASP, tag value $ millions
2.17.9.Ultimate potential for different applications
2.17.10.RFID Standards (ISO)
2.17.11.UHF (RAIN) RFID Trends
2.17.12.Four Drivers of RAIN RFID
2.17.13.EPC Gen2v2
2.17.14.Near Field Communication (NFC)
2.17.15.Comparison of NFC enabled devices and contactless smart cards
2.17.16.RFID Systems/Middleware
2.17.17.Impediments to highest volume RFID
3.1.Total RFID Market Size 2018-2029, $ millions
3.2.Market size by tag value by application 2018-2029, $ millions
3.3.Market size by tag value by application 2018-2024, $ millions
3.4.Market size by application, hardware and software 2018-2029, $ millions
3.5.Prevalence of RFID projects for each applicational sector
3.6.Future trend of projects for each applicational sector
3.7.Current and future forms of payback by applicational sector
3.8.Healthcare and pharmaceuticals
3.9.Retail and Consumer Packaged Goods
3.9.1.Pallet/ case tagging
3.9.2.Retail apparel, item level
3.9.3.Retail Apparel Payback
3.9.4.Over 100 retailers using RAIN RFID and growing
3.9.5.RFID for anti-counterfeiting - it's the law!
3.9.6.METI, Japan, target 100 billion tags/year by 2025
3.9.7.IDTechEx view on the METI announcement
3.9.8.Case Study: RFID Demand Pull
3.9.9.Airlines and Airports
3.9.10.Military and federal
3.9.11.Postal and courier services
3.9.12.Smart Ticketing and e-Passports
3.9.13.Logistics, Asset Tracking, Manufacturing
3.9.14.Tracking Logistics Containers
3.9.15.RFID tracks automotive body panels
3.9.16.Secure access and contactless payment
3.9.17.Laundry/rented textiles
3.9.19.RFID provides more consumer engagement and use data
3.9.20.RFID embedded in consumer electronics devices
3.9.21.RFID Sensors
3.9.22.Passive RFID Sensors (Electronic): Case Studies
3.9.23.Passive UHF RFID Sensors with Printed Electronics
3.9.24.Examples of companies supplying RFID sensor ICs and market size for RFID Sensors 2017-2021
3.9.25.LG Sensing Smart Card: Commercial product with a printed antenna to test water salinity. Launched in 2018 in Korea
3.9.26.Thin finger print sensors using organic photodetectors
3.9.27.GE/ Kemsense: BioSensors on conventional RFID labels
3.9.28.Analysis of RFID case studies
4.1.Passive RFID tags, total number 2018-2029, billions
4.2.Passive RFID tags, market value, 2018-2029, $ millions
4.3.RFID Range versus cost
4.4.Passive RFID: Technologies by Operating Frequency
4.5.Anatomy of passive HF and UHF tags
4.6.Challenges in contacting HF/NFC coils
4.7.Antenna Technology Choices
4.8.Antenna Manufacturing Technologies: Comparison Table
4.9.RFID Antennas: New Technologies
4.10.IC Attachment
4.11.New chip attach processes coming to market
4.12.Inlay assembly today
4.13.Label Conversion
4.14.Passive RFID price teardown, HF and UHF
4.15.Surviving in a commodity inlay market
4.16.Latest progress with flexible/printed transistor RFID
4.17.Benefits of flexible/printed logic
4.18.Save on IC attach cost?
4.19.Current work in developing printed transistor RFID
4.20.IMEC / Holst Centre Roadmap
4.21.Logic-based systems
4.22.Printed electronics enabling multi component integration some use NFC as wireless power
4.23.Threats to passive RFID
4.23.1.Machine vision?
4.23.2.Machine vision item identification: examples of suppliers
4.23.3.Passive Bluetooth
5.1.Passive UHF (RAIN) RFID tag numbers 2018-2029, millions
5.2.Passive UHF (RAIN) RFID tag numbers 2018-2024, millions
5.3.Average sales price of passive UHF (RAIN) RFID by application 2018-2029, US cents
5.4.Total Value of UHF (RAIN) RFID inlays by application 2018-2024, $ millions
5.5.Total Value of UHF (RAIN) RFID inlays by application, 2018-2029, $ millions
5.6.Analysis of passive UHF RFID markets
5.7.Comment on methodology
6.1.Passive HF (13.56MHz, NFC) RFID tag numbers 2018-2029, millions
6.2.Passive HF (13.56MHz, NFC) RFID tag numbers 2018-2024, millions
7.1.Passive LF (125KHz, 134KHz) RFID tag numbers 2018-2029, millions
8.1.Active RFID Market
8.2.BLE and LPWAN
8.3.How many competing LPWAN technologies?
8.4.Comparison of LPWAN capabilities
8.5.The Internet of Things
8.6.The Internet of Things: why now?
8.7.RFID market forecasts for battery assisted passive RFID, active RFID tag numbers 2018-2029, millions
8.8.RFID market forecasts for battery assisted passive RFID, active RFID tag numbers 2018-2024, millions
9.2.RFID Interrogator (reader) numbers 2018-2029, millions
9.3.RFID Interrogator (reader) price 2018-2029, US cents
9.4.RFID Interrogator (reader) market value 2018-2024, $ millions
9.5.RFID Interrogator (reader) market value 2018-2029, $ millions
9.6.IoT Low Power Wireless Networks and 5G 2019-2029: Global Forecasts, Technologies, Applications
10.1.Leading countries
10.2.Asia RFID Use: Key Conclusions
10.3.USA RFID Use: Key Conclusions
10.4.Europe RFID Use: Key Conclusions
10.5.Trends by territory
11.1.Dynamics of the RFID value chain
11.2.Tag manufacturing value chain
11.3.Successes and revenues
11.4.RFID companies by gross sales
11.5.Laws of the marketplace apply
11.6.Largest orders, best selling products, dominant suppliers in future
11.6.1.Largest suppliers of chips
11.6.2.Largest suppliers of tags, inlets, straps and detailed value chain for high volume
11.6.3.Examples of companies in the chip to label value chain
11.6.4.UHF inlay manufacture market share by territory
11.6.5.UHF RFID readers
11.6.6.Largest suppliers of software and services
11.6.7.Equipment supply
11.6.8.Summary and outlook

Report Statistics

Slides 270
Forecasts to 2029

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