The smart card industry bounced back from a weak 2009, as unit shipments increased 19% and smart card IC units increased by more than 20%, according to IMS Research.
In its new report “Smart Cards and Smart Card ICs – World – 2011,” IMS Research discovered that card suppliers restocked their inventories in 2010, which contributed to the high growth levels.
Over the last ten years, the industry has experienced an average annual growth rate of around 20%, with lows occurring in 2002 and 2009. 2009 experienced only a 5% growth rate, the second worst growth rate on record, according to IMS.
Though forecasts predict double digit annual growth, IMS author Alex Green says it will have a difficult time sustaining a growth rate as high as 20%, due to lower growth in the cellular handset, and hence SIM card market.
Still, other applications, such as payment and banking cards and M2M, are projected to contribute more to the overall market growth.