Major growth in developing markets over the last two years has allowed smaller Asian vendors, such as Eastcompeace, Watchdata, Datang, and Wuhan Tianyu, to increase their market share to 16% in 2010, up from just 12.4% in 2009.
Asian vendors are increasingly challenging the top four all European vendors, Gemalto, Giesecke & Devrient, Oberthur, and Morpho, who saw their market share drop from 71.4% to 66.6% in 2010.
Much of the smart card growth continues to come from SIM shipments, which are expected to grow nearly 17% in 2011, with close to 500 million more SIM cards expected to be in use by the year’s end. Overall, African SIM shipments jumped to 40% in 2010 and are expected to be up at least 21% for 2011. Similarly, the Middle East has been strong, while Indian shipments were 43% in 2010 and are expected to be 35% for 2011.
However, the uptake of smart cards in other sectors, particularly payment and banking, is also creating opportunities for the Asian manufacturers.
“EMV is increasingly being adopted in emerging markets to reduce the risk of fraud and China is now looking to adopt the PBOC 2.0 chip and PIN standard. At the same time, we anticipate an upgrade to the existing national ID card rolling out within the next five years,” says John Devlin, group director, security and ID at ABI Research. “While the leading vendors have a strong presence in the identification and payments sectors, such moves will inevitably provide a platform and important experiences for domestic Chinese companies to leverage in other emerging markets.”