Press Release  


Neha Narula
Senior Digital Marketing Associate
VDC Research
(508) 653-9000, ext.128

Global Market for Rugged Mobile Computers in the Warehouse Will Eclipse $1.7B by 2023
Android OS enabling greater warehousing efficiency, making significant gains despite Windows’ dominance

NATICK, MA | January 22, 2020 - The global market for rugged mobile computers supporting warehousing applications will eclipse $1.7B by 2023, according to VDC Research (click here for more information). The bulk of this market will be driven by smaller form factors such as handheld computers and wearable devices, while larger form factors such as tablets and vehicle-mounted computers represent a much smaller footprint. Wearable devices such as wrist-mounted computers, ring scanners and voice-guided units are expected to be the fastest-growing category among small form factors. The warehousing sector finds itself in a period of advanced mobile technology adoption that outpaces its past, and wearables will accordingly surge as long-lagging operations play catchup.

Market forces are steadily placing more pressure on warehouses to maximize their fulfillment accuracy and labor optimization. “At the same time, warehouses must adapt to the increasingly competitive omni-channel landscape as well as the shrinking labor pool,” said Pat Nolan, Research Associate at VDC Research. “As pressures in the supply chain continue to mount, traditionally risk-averse warehousing leadership will need to optimize and modernize their digital solutions to enrich operational visibility and drive efficiencies.” Ease-of-use and security features are by and large the most important selection criteria when evaluating mobile devices for employees.

What Are The Leading Barriers To Deploying Mobile Solutions In Your Warehousing/DC Operation?
Global Market for Rugged Mobile Computers in the Warehouse Will Eclipse $1.7M by 2023

In addition to the expansion of mobile technologies, warehousing operations are utilizing data analytics to allow them to optimize limited resources. Applications range from reconfiguring their facility’s layout and improving space utilization to driving efficiencies in their scheduling of shipping and receiving efforts in the supply chain. The operational visibility and transparency offered by data-driven solutions will also fuel automation and robotics in the warehouse for functions such as automated storage and retrieval systems, IoT-driven robotic automation, and automated truck loading and unloading. 


“One of the greatest opportunities among warehouse deployments is within the booming presence of the Android OS,” explained Nolan. The shift towards Android from legacy Windows platforms such as Embedded Handheld 6.5.x, Windows Mobile 6.5 and Windows CE is responsible for much of the anticipated growth in warehousing, according to VDC’s research. “For OEMS, Android eases and accelerates the upgrade processes for warehousing’s mobile fleets. For end users, Android offers compatibility with newer, higher performing devices while the implicit ease-of-use benefits enable employees to be more productive.” Windows 10 will continue to have a massive footprint for large form factors throughout the warehouse, but momentum is clearly behind Android as the OS’s shares continue to outpace other options throughout distribution environments. The tablet category stands to benefit the most from this shift.

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About VDC Research
VDC Research provides in-depth insights to technology vendors, end users, and investors across the globe. Offering syndicated reports and custom consultations, VDC’s market research coverage of AutoID & Data Capture, Enterprise Mobility & Connected Devices, Industrial Automation & Sensors, and IoT & Embedded Technologies is among the most advanced in the industry, helping clients make critical decisions with confidence. VDC’s methodologies consistently provide accurate forecasts and unmatched thought leadership for deeply technical markets.



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