Genealogy of the AIDC Market

Consolidating AIDC Market makes for an Interesting "Family Tree"

It is undeniable the AIDC market has consolidated.  With a few exceptions, Honeywell and Zebra, now dominant the market. 

The genealogy of these giants is interesting to say the least.  Each company took a slightly different path to get where they are today. 


Prior to the acquisition of Handheld Products, Honeywell did not play in the AIDC space.  However, a strategic and methodical acquisition plan that has played out over the last 8 years has built Honeywell into a market leader.

December 2007 - Honeywell purchases Handheld Products.  This is the first acquisition that brings Honeywell into the data collections space.

April 2008 - Honeywell acquires Metrologic Instruments, a leader in bar code scanning technology and hardware.

August 2011 - Honeywell acquires LXE.  With the acquisition they add rugged hand-held and vehicle mount computers to their product line. 

September 2013 - The purchase of Intermec is finalized, rounding out the Honeywell product offering with bar code printing and RFID.  In the acquisition, Honeywell also gets the products and expertise of Norand and UBI (United Barcode Industries) which Intermec purchased in 1997.  

March 2015 - Honeywell acquires Datamax-O'Neil and adds to their expansive line of bar code printing solutions.


Zebra's path to market leadership was very different from Honeywell's.  Zebra has always been the market leader when it comes to bar code printing technology.  But what they lacked was the mobile computing, scanning and networking side of the business.

1998 - 2012 - Zebra makes a number of small acquisitions that strengthen their position as a leader in bar code printing;

  • 1998 - Zebra acquires Eltron, a leading manufacturer of mobile printers
  • 2003 - Zebra acquires Atlantek and enters into to the card business
  • 2007 - Zebra acquires Wherenet, an RFID provider
  • 2012 - Zebra acquires LaserBand, provider of patient ID wristbands

October 2014 - Zebra finalizes the purchase of Motorola Solutions giving them an end-to-end data collection offering.  With the purchase, Zebra acquires 40 years of bar code innovation from Symbol Technologies which Motorola purchased in 2006.  Prior to this acquisition in 2006, Symbol had purchased Telxon in 2000 and their 25 year legacy in data collection. 

The process of consolidating companies (especially large ones) can be frustrating if product availability and customer service levels dip during the transitional period.  But these frustrations aside, I believe the consolidation of the market is positive.  In my mind, the sum is greater than its individual parts with both companies offering cutting-edge technologies and one-stop-shopping for any aspect of your data collection needs.

Contact ADI to discuss your data collection needs!