AutoID & Data Capture Blog

Mobile barcode scanners helping expand total available and addressable market for data capture technologies, according to VDC Research

by Shahroze Husain | 08/09/2017

VDC recently published Interim Findings for our upcoming 2017 Mobile Barcode Scanning Solution Report. The following blog highlights some of our thoughts on this market and its potential.

Handheld barcode scanning is no longer restricted to the traditional pistol grip form factor or rugged mobile devices. Mobile barcode scanners including companion scanners, sleds, ring scanners and barcode scanning software platforms saw strong demand globally in 2016 and will generate more than $150M in revenues by 2021, according to VDC’s latest research on the topic. The Americas accounted for 62% of overall sales in 2016 with retail and transportation/logistics environments driving adoption. VDC’s primary research on the market shows that large enterprises complement their existing traditional data capture investments with mobile scanners. However, small businesses are increasingly considering investing in and deploying these as their primary data capture devices.

VDC’s research indicates mobile scanner usage across a wide range of application environments. End users including retailers and warehouse/DC operators are increasingly mobilizing their workforce with the latest generation of companion scanners, scanning sleds/sleeves, and ring scanners to enable capabilities ranging from mPOS and inventory management in the retail store to picking, receiving, sorting and putaway in the warehouse/DC. These two major verticals accounted for approximately 80% of mobile scanner sales in 2016 per VDC’s estimates. End users in healthcare, commercial services, manufacturing, and government are also turning to these portable mobile scanning solutions to address their low-volume barcode scanning applications. Application development will be a key driver for vendor success in this market to address enterprise uses cases and extend vendors’ products to wider audiences. VDC believes that these trends along with growing adoption of consumer grade solutions in the traditional retail/distribution and supply chain markets will drive the adoption for mobile barcode scanners solutions through the forecast period.

The mobile scanners market today presents opportunities to current and potential participants. Unlike the traditional data capture markets, smaller vendors like Infinite Peripherals, KOAMTAC, and Socket Mobile are market leaders in the mobile scanning competitive landscape with Zebra Technologies the only traditional AIDC powerhouse coming out on top. In addition, non-AIDC participants like Ingenico and Verifone have also seen traction with their all-in-one companion barcode scanner and payment capture solutions. The participation of Asian vendors like KOAMTAC, Marson Technologies, Opticon, Riotec, and Unitech, and also place significant pressures on other market participants through their portable, inventive and price-competitive offerings. The vendors listed in this report include:

  • Bluebird
  • CipherLab
  • Code Corp
  • Cognex
  • Datalogic
  • Denso Wave
  • Grabba International
  • Honeywell
  • Infinite Peripherals
  • Ingenico
  • Marson Technology
  • OptoElectronics Co. Ltd. (Opticon)
  • Riotec
  • Scandit
  • Socket Mobile
  • Unitech
  • Verifone
  • Zebra Technologies

For more information on VDC’s Mobile Barcode Scanners report and the research deliverables, view the 2017 AutoID & Data Capture Research Outline.