Frost & Sullivan
Frost & Sullivan logo

Executive Summary

• Demand for on-demand barcode printers is expected to increase in the short to medium terms from segments such as mobile printing, double-sided printers, hybrid printers, color printers, wristband printers, and radio-frequency identification (RFID) printers and encoders. Market trends include enhanced memories, higher processing capacities, smaller form factors, higher connectivity capabilities, and abilities to handle a wide variety of media.
• The barcode printers market is becoming more commoditized. With price degradation as well as functionality and performance increases, suppliers within the Americas and Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) are finding it difficult to compete with low-cost Asian manufacturers.
• To offset widespread commoditization, barcode printer vendors are diversifying their product portfolios and adding value for their customers. In an effort to differentiate themselves, the larger printer manufacturers have been focusing on RFID and real-time locating system (RTLS) solutions for expansion possibilities and to position themselves for future growth.
• Although maybe not a near-term threat, the number of technologies likely to compete with barcode printing continues to increase. Technological threats to barcode thermal printing come from direct-part marking, electronic shelf labels, mobile barcoding, and RFID.
• Barcode printer manufacturers are creating greener products to meet customer needs. Barcode printer manufacturers are designing printers to comply with regulations set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
• The industrial/manufacturing sector had the largest share of the market, with Xpercent in 2011. The transportation and logistics market was the second-largest contributor, with Xpercent, followed by retail, healthcare, and government with X, X, and X percent, respectively. The remaining X percent came from commercial services.
• In the 2011 thermal printer market, industrial printers had the largest share of the market, with X percent. The desktop market was the second-largest contributor withXpercent, followed by portable printers with Xpercent.
• In the barcode printer market, Xpercent of business is carried out through distributors, dealers, value-added resellers (VARs), and independent software vendors (ISVs); the remainder is through direct sales. It is of absolute importance to have a strong distribution network in order to succeed in the market.
• Consolidation continues to affect the barcode printer supplier landscape. Recent merger and acquisition (M&A) activities, such as Sato’s acquisition of Argox, Avery Dennison’s purchase of Paxar, SATO’s acquisition of Checkpoint’s printer unit, Vector Capital’s purchase of Printronix, and Toshiba TEC’s acquisition of the Auto ID division of Ricoh, have continued to create an environment in which there are an increasingly fewer number of suppliers with significant market clout.
• For the purpose of this research service, barcode printers include the following: thermal transfer, direct thermal, portable thermal, laser, impact, and inkjet printers. RFID printers/encoders are also included.

CEO’s Perspective

1. Increased competition has forced many printer manufacturers to decrease costs and introduce lower-cost products.
2. Growth is expected to come from emerging regions in APAC, Latin America, and Eastern Europe.
3. Increasing end-user demands and decreasing prices have forced vendors to focus on product innovations.
4. Channel strategies and partnerships with VARs and ISVs are the key to success in the barcode printer market.
5. Portable barcode printers show promise for being the key printer segment in the next three to four years.


• The study includes revenue forecasts for the global barcode printers market.
• The scope of the present study includes market forecasts developed for the Americas, EMEA, and APAC.
• The base year for this study is 2011. Revenue and revenue growth rates for the total and regional markets are provided for 2008 through 2016.
• The study covers key market forces such as market drivers and market restraints, evaluating their influences on market growth. It also includes detailed analyses of the applications market, competitive structure, and positioning of key participants in the industry.
• All prices quoted in the study are in U.S. dollars unless otherwise specified.
• Automatic identification (auto ID) technology has been in use for more than X years, especially with supply chain, shipping/receiving, warehousing, and manufacturing companies.
• With technology advancements, auto ID technology has gained acceptance in providing immediate and accurate data collection. Many industries have development standards to ensure product identification and compliance within their respective industry, such as the standards set by the Health Industry Business Communications Council (HIBCC) for healthcare providers, hazardous materials (HAZMAT) standards for chemical companies, postal numeric encoding technique (POSTNET) standards for the postal service, and Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) standards for automotive manufactures.
• The study divides the barcode printer market into two segments on the basis of technology type:
– Thermal transfer printers (Note: This study covers the thermal transfer printers market in detail)
– Non-thermal transfer printers (Note: this study does not cover Non-thermal transfer printers market in detail)
• Barcoding is part of the auto ID market, which includes technologies such as RFID, biometrics, smart cards, electronic data interchange (EDI), and magnetic stripes.
• Barcode printers are defined as printers that are designed, marketed, and used specifically for the production of barcode labels of various symbologies and that conform to industry standards.
• This study focuses on the market for on-site barcode printers and does not include contract printers and preprinted labels.

Key Questions This Study Will Answer

• Is the barcode printer market growing, how long will it continue to grow, and at what rate?
• Are the existing competitors structured correctly to meet customer needs?
• Will these companies and applications continue to exist? What will be some of the key trends that will affect the barcode printer market?
• What are the key drivers and restraints affecting this barcode printer market?
• Are the technologies offered today meeting customer needs or is additional development needed?
• What are the top application end uses for barcode printers and will these end uses continue to drive the market?

Table of Contents

1. Executive Summary
2. Market Overview
3. Total Barcode Printer Market
• External Challenges: Drivers and Restraints
• Forecast and Trends
• Market Share and Competitive Analysis
• Mega Trends and Industry Convergence Implications
4. CEO’s 360 Degree Perspective
5. Desktop Barcode Printer Segment Breakdown
6. Industrial Barcode Printer Segment Breakdown
7. Portable Barcode Printer Segment Breakdown
8. Total Barcode Printer Market—Top Vendors
9. The Last Word
10. Appendix

To order this report: Analysis of the Global Barcode Printer Market

Forward Vision Marketing | We Market Technology