Market dominance by industry leaders continues; growing competition from local vendors
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:
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.
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).
Expect continued migration from laser scanning to camera-based imaging solutions
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:
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.
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:
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 means to:
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 environment.
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