VDC recently published a report focused on Handheld Barcode Scanners. The following report highlights some of our thoughts on this market and its potential.
The global market for handheld barcode scanners is expected to grow 3.3% from 2015 to 2016 and continue this growth posting a CAGR of 4.9% through 2020 reaching $1.3B. Global macroeconomic challenges that hardware vendors in this market are facing caused handheld scanner revenues to stay flat year-over-year during the first quarter of 2016. Drivers for future market growth will include the increase in sales of camera-based imagers. Camera based imagers now account for 59% of overall revenues in the handheld scanner market in 2016 up from only 12% in 2014. By 2020, these 2D imagers are expected to contribute to 57% of unit shipments, as these devices offer diverse applications across verticals and support functionalities beyond barcode scanning. Enterprises will continue to invest in 2D imagers as they have a need to future proof their investments, capture images, scan several different barcode symbologies and applications beyond track-and-trace.
Rising workforce mobilization is generating demand within the handheld scanner market for mobile scanning solutions. Vendors are expanding product portfolios beyond the pistol grip form factor to devices such as sleds, sleeves and companion scanners that pair with consumer-grade mobile devices. Enterprises with expanding mobile workforces are evaluating BYOD policies and considering investing in alternatives to traditional purpose-built rugged mobile computers and handheld scanners. VDC estimates that the current global hardware market size for sleds, sleeves and companion scanners is between $40M and $50M with Honeywell, Infinite Peripherals, KoamTac, and Zebra Technologies as leading participants. This is currently less than 5% of the handheld scanner hardware market, and VDC expects this niche segment to post double-digit growth rates in the coming years.
In the overall handheld barcode scanning market, Honeywell, Zebra and Datalogic continue to dominate the competitive landscape. The “big 3” companies accounted for more than 73% of overall handheld scanner revenues in 2015. VDC believes that vendors that focus on differentiating their product portfolios beyond conventional solution types and form factors while also working to make their products available to a broader audience via highly strategic distribution channel partnerships will find the most success. Companies like Code and Cognex that are focused solely on the 2D imager will offer competition to industry leaders in core verticals for handheld scanners such as healthcare and logistics.