After two years of uneven performance and market contraction, the AIDC market is poised for more consistent results. VDC estimates the 2002 market for AIDC hardware -- including handheld scanners, stationary scanners, PDCTs and bar code printers -- at just over $4.4 billion. Overall the market is forecast to grow at just over 8% compounded annually through 2006.
According to David Krebs, AIDC group manager, "While we remain cautious about the immediate future, we are confident about the long-term growth prospects for AIDC solutions based on research conducted among leading and emerging end users." Included among the key factors impacting the market are:
• Emerging country and regional markets such as China, Taiwan, Malaysia and East Europe are finally representing significant volume opportunities. However, these markets still require significant investment in terms of channel development and end user education.
• The competitive landscape continues to shift. Most notable developments include the increased strength of low cost Asian suppliers and encroachment by commercial grade hand held suppliers into vertical application segments.
• Price has become the overriding end user purchase consideration. With the majority of hardware shipments over the past year representing replacement units and decreasing differentiation among competing products combined with tighter budget control, end users are citing price over hardware features or service offerings as the key selection criteria.
VDC is a technology market research and consulting firm that specializes in industrial and commercial electronics, computing, communications, software and power systems markets. For more on this report, visit www.vdc-corp.com/autoid/annual/03/br03-04.html.