"The largest single order is by Marks & Spencer for 150 million tags for apparel, but the number two behind that is much less. Indeed, it is still rare to hear of orders of more than 1 million UHF tags. In other words, the applications of UHF RFID are many and small, reaching a wide range of different markets. Almost all are closed loop applications," the report said. It projected that some 2.16 billion tags will be sold in 2008 versus 1.74 billion in 2007 and 1.02 billion in 2006, across all frequencies, passive and active. "By value, we forecast that in 2009 the value of the RFID market will grow by 23 percent over 2008, and in 2010 it will grow by 25 percent over 2009, which is not exponential, but still very strong growth."
RFID tracking firm IDTechEx sees the demand for RFID slowing down sharply, but even those reduced increases will still deliver more than 20 percent annual growth. "It is old news now that orders for UHF for retail mandates have been limp due to technical and infrastructure issues. These applications will eventually prevail, but probably not fast enough to create a profitable business for tag makers in the short term," the report said, before adding that 2008 will still see "approximately 1 billion UHF chips" manufactured.