It is almost as if the Handheld Barcode Scanner Market is reinventing itself. Laser technology is rapidly losing share. As a percentage of overall revenues, laser scanners went from accounting for over 40% of overall revenues in 2011 to 35% in 2012 – a direct contrast to the 2D imager product category. The wide range of options available for these camera-based imaging solutions means no vendor has their customer-base locked in. Coupled with tough economic conditions to operate in, this development has vendors struggling to retain their existing accounts.
And then there is the very real threat of consumer devices being used in lieu of dedicated scanning devices. A growing number of enterprises today are considering, if not already undertaking, integration of consumer devices into their enterprise operations. With significant advancements in mobile technology, consumer handhelds are penetrating deeper into the enterprise, particularly in retail, passenger transportation and health care services. These devices are deployed in conjunction with purpose-built data and image capture solutions for now. Expect this to change as the developer community builds enterprise-worthy barcode scanning applications. Vendors and their solutions partners have to focus on application development to capitalize on market growth opportunities – and stave off the shift from purpose-built scanning solutions to multi-functional mobile devices.
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