That’s an increase of over nine percent compared to 2013and of those shipments, 83 percent went into the SIM or payments cards market, according to a survey from ABI Research.
Regulatory matters caused shipments to fall in 2013 – only 5.1 billion shipped then.
Commoditisation is causing prices to fall and vendors of the card are attempting to make more money out of software and services rather than the cards themselves.
What’s happening, according to senior analyst Phil Sealy, is that more non-card based embedded applications emerge and there are opportunities in new markets including anti-counterfeiting measures and brand protection.
He said that the smart card market will continue to grow, with vendors attempting to include, as an example, pre-paid apps on national ID cards -giving digital banking facilities to people who don’t have bank accounts.