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Asia Pacific Market for Passive Tags Expected to Triple by 2014

Asset management and document tracking are likely to be two of the biggest growth drivers, with UHF RFID sales taking the lead, according to Frost & Sullivan.
By Dave Friedlos
Jun 04, 2008The market for passive radio frequency identification tags in the Asia Pacific region is set to triple in value to more than $850 million over the next six years, according to market research firm Frost & Sullivan.

Asset management and document tracking are likely to be two of the biggest drivers of growth in the RFID inlay market, says Frost & Sullivan analyst Richard Sebastian, as will increasing adoption in such industries as mining, oil and gas, and aviation. And although RFID is widely used in supply chain management, access control and other areas, he says, the fledgling market is likely to be boosted by the development of niche applications, such as DVD tracking, ballot tracking and sports timing.

Richard Sebastian
According to Sebastian, the RFID inlay market is gaining momentum in Asia Pacific with increasing usage, especially for big projects requiring large quantities of passive RFID tags. "The hype phase is over, and RFID is no longer just a science project," he says. "There is now much more understanding of the potential benefits RFID can deliver, and increasing standards and quality will continue to drive the market forward. But there is also a need to innovate, and continued research and development is required to ensure RFID remains profitable and sustainable. There will be also be growing demand for specialized inlays to support niche applications."

Total revenue for the passive RFID inlay market in the Asia Pacific region already rose to more than $150 million in 2007, compared with just $100 million in 2004. But the biggest growth is yet to come, Sebastian says, claiming total revenue will increase to more than $350 million in 2011, before soaring to more than $850 million in 2014. "We expect constant growth annually," he states, "but strong demand is expected to really spur growth from 2009 on."

The biggest demand, Sebastian says, will be for ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) tags. In 2007, UHF tags made up just 15.6 percent of the passive RFID tag market, compared with 58.9 percent for high-frequency (HF) and 25.5 percent for low-frequency (LF). In 2014, UHF's share of the market is expected to soar to 46.2 percent of revenue, with HF accounting for 45.3 percent and LF just 8.5 percent.

"HF currently has the largest share of revenue, but we expect that to change significantly by 2014 as UHF technology becomes more stable and able to support more applications," Sebastian says. "UHF will largely be used for supply chain management, while HF will be used for access control and pallet tracking, and LF will be used for applications such as animal tagging."

Increased efforts to standardize RFID technology, government backing and growing demand for visibility in the supply chain will all be drivers behind growth in RFID, Sebastian says. "The benefits of better visibility will be the biggest driver," he states. "Since RFID became a mainstream technology at the turn of the millennium, there has been greater awareness of the benefits from greater visibility in the supply chain, including streamlining operations and reducing costs."

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