IDTechEx has been researching the RFID industry for nearly two decades. “RFID Forecasts, Players, and Opportunities 2023-2033,” is the most recent RFID market research study, offering a thorough review of passive RFID (for UHF, HF, and LF bands), battery assisted passive, active RFID, and chipless RFID technologies, players, and markets. This report provides an unbiased analysis of primary data gathered through interviews with key players throughout the value chain (many of whom supply data to IDTechEx under non-disclosure agreements that allows aggregation of the data into a total) as well as secondary data from all available sources, and it builds on IDTechEx’s RFID industry expertise. This report provides in-depth forecasts and analysis that no other source can match.
Current market and outlook
The future of RFID is looking bright. Despite some challenges that are not yet resolved, such as the global macroeconomic downturn and chip and other raw material shortages, the global RFID market is expected to expand further in 2023; according to IDTechEx, the market will be worth $14 billion in 2023, up from US$12.8 billion in 2022. This comprises RFID labels, cards, fobs, and any other form factors, as well as tags, readers, and software/services for both passive and active RFID.
In the UHF sector, the retail business, the largest RFID application sector in terms of tag numbers, adopting RFID continues to grow strongly. According to IDTechEx study, retail apparel alone will require nearly 24 billion RFID labels in 2023 – though there is still some way to go, with RFID accounting for only about 30% of the total addressable market for apparel. Furthermore, IDTechEx anticipates that more retail products other than apparel will be tagged in the future years. Walmart’s mandate on tagging retail items other than apparel is anticipated to generate significant volume growth for the sector.
Contactless card sales remain the most successful in the HF sector, driven primarily by contactless payment, transit, and secure access applications, with 3.1 billion cards anticipated to be demanded in 2023.
Animal tagging (such as pigs, sheep, and pets) remains important in the LF sector because it is still a legal requirement in many more areas, with 771 million tags expected to be used in this sector in 2023.
Overall, IDTechEx forecasts that 39.3 billion passive RFID tags will be sold in 2023, up from 33 billion in 2022, indicating a 20% year on year increase. The bulk of this growth is due to passive UHF RFID labels.
However, in 2023, UHF (RAIN RFID) tag sales by value will be just 40% of HF tag sales (including NFC), due to the higher price point of HF tags used for security (such as payments, access, etc) against the cheaper, largely disposable UHF (RAIN) tags used for tagging items.
Total RFID Market Size 2021-2033, Source: IDTechEx “RFID Forecasts, Players and Opportunities 2023-2033”
In-depth market analysis
IDTechEx assesses the RFID industry in a variety of ways using new and unique information gathered globally by IDTechEx research analysts. Each market is thoroughly examined, with detailed historical data by application type provided from 2005 to 2022, followed by a prediction from 2023 and every year thereafter until 2028. IDTechEx also provides a long-term forecast for 2033. Key forecasts included in this report are: 10-year prediction of tag numbers, average sales price, and market value of Passive RFID, Battery-assisted Passive RFID, Active RFID, and RFID readers:
Forecasts for passive RFID are given separately for each of the application areas listed below:
Additionally, the report provides units, average selling price and total value for RFID readers in the following categories:
10-year total RFID market value forecast (including hardware, software, and integration) by application type.
The research conducted by IDTechEx ultimately provides ten-year forecasts by application area including tags, readers, software and services for the following markets:
Data is also provided for other sectors including trends by territory, value chain positioning, NFC, chip vs chipless and more. Cumulative sales of RFID are analyzed. Progress of key companies is provided in addition to a matrix of hundreds of suppliers.
A price teardown is conducted for the two main types of passive RFID inlays – UHF and HF RFID.