Market dominance by industry leaders continues; growing competition from
Motorola, Honeywell and Datalogic accounted for over 75% of global handheld
barcode scanner& imager revenuers in 2011 with some of the primary reasons for
their dominance in the space being:
- Well-established, strategic global distribution channel partnerships.
- Extensive product portfolio addressing the market needs and requirements
across a variety of enterprise end-user environments.
- Large existing installed base (particularly in retail) leveraging these
companies' enterprise mobility solutions - enabling them to leverage a strong
- Heavy investments in Research & Development initiatives helping them stay
several steps ahead of the smaller, more regionally/vertically focused
Over the past few years, several vendors have entered the marketplace in order
to capitalize on the existing opportunity and growth potential - with a
significant percentage building their products on scan engines developed by
other players in the space.
- These vendors tend to cater to the demands of end-users in specific
regional or vertical markets.
- Alliances with strategic partners are largely under-developed particularly
with the new entrants. Significant dollars and resources are being invested
toward developing the same.
- The target accounts are typically lower revenue tier organizations.
As with several other technology markets, leading vendors are facing intense
competition from up-and-coming manufacturers based out of the Asia-Pacific
region (particularly China and Taiwan).
- While we haven't seen considerable merger/acquisitions in the handheld
scanner market, the possibility is not completely discounted either.
- As smaller, regional/vertical market-specific vendors continue to expand
their scale and scope of operations, VDC expects leading players in the space
to consider consolidating their competitive landscape especially as
significant growth opportunities shift to the less developed economies and
Market Estimates & Forecasts
Expect continued migration from laser scanning to camera-based imaging
Over the past 18-24 months, VDC has witnessed a considerable shift in scanning
technology adoption, particularly among end-users who have undergone refresh
cycles for their handheld scanner infrastructure.
While the use of laser scanners is increasingly being limited to specific
vertical & application environments, linear and camera-based imaging solutions
have grown in popularity particularly given the following benefits:
- Improved performance characteristics
- Better price competitiveness
- Increased availability
- Enhanced education, training and support
1D barcode scanning is not on the decline, however, linear hymnologies
continue to account for the lion's share of barcodes scanned globally, and
while image capture is on the rise, 1D handheld scanners will maintain
investment consideration for years to come.
Strategic Issues, Trends & Market Drivers
Market of the future - pricing pressures, non-traditional vertical
market expansion, consumer device threat
Where is growth coming from - VDC's forecasts indicate that the market
for general purpose handheld scanning and imaging solution is expected to far
out-perform that for industrial-grade devices, with a CAGR of over 9.5%
through 2016. This will result from:
- Market growth and expansion opportunity in non-traditional vertical
markets including Government and Health Care Services.
- Increased adoption of non-ruggedized scanners in light industrial
- Absence of moving parts to misalign/break in non-laser scanning solutions
leading to decreased need for ruggedization.
Laser AND Imaging - Vendors can expect to see fastest growth from the
warehouse/distribution center environment, health care facilities and retail
stores over the next 3-5 years with their handheld scanner offerings. The
trend of using laser with imaging is expected to continue gaining traction a
- Provide more complete solution
- Increase functionality
- Adequately meet customer/industry/government compliance requirements.
Need to be price competitive - VDC expects the traditional market
leaders to face increased pricing pressures from regionally focused, local
vendors, particularly in Asia-Pacific (Chinese and Korean). It will become
increasingly important for venders to build a local presence in developing
economies to stave off growing competition.
State of the global economy - Continued economic volatility in Europe
and North America could also potentially impact investments in and adoption of
barcode scanning solutions, with end-users pushing off their refresh cycles.
Threat of consumer-grade devices - handheld scanner vendors also need
to keep and eye out for consumer-grade devices that are gaining considerable
traction for customer-facing applications, particularly in the retail
- While it hasn't affected end user investments in barcode scanning
solutions, widespread use of all-in-one handheld devices (with scanner
add-ons) could potentially negate the need for handheld scanners' & imagers at
- Vendors need to continue expanding the functionalities supported by
handheld scanning devices to ensure continued investments in the same.