Smart card shipments grew 19% in 2010
This growth rate compares very favorably to the estimated 5% growth seen in 2009 during the recession. 5% was the slowest unit shipments had increased year on year since 2002 and the second worst growth rate on record. Over the last 10 years the average annual growth rate for this market has been around the 20% level, within only 2002 and 2009 dipping significantly below this level.
Unfortunately, according to IMS Research, this high level of growth is not to be maintained. Although the market is not forecast to drop back down to the lows seen in 2009 and 2002, and is still forecast to have double digit annual growth, it will struggle to stay at the 20% level. This is largely attributed to that fact that the cellular handset installed base is projected to grow at lower rates than those seen during the last decade and hence the SIM card market will grow at lower levels. Growth for payment and banking cards is projected to remain at the same historically high levels and M2M is forecast to inject additional growth.