2023 Sequencing Market Share – The Tide is Turning… Very Slowly

It’s an exciting time in the sequencing industry. After years of dominance, Illumina started facing competition on all fronts in 2022. Element Biosciences and Singular Genomics launched their desktop sequencers. The US market opened up for MGI (via the Complete Genomics brand that never quite went away). And Ultima Genomics announced the early access program for their ultra high-throughput sequencer. On the long-read side, PacBio launched the Revio with 15X the throughput of previous machines and Oxford Nanopore continued to improve their read quality.

And on top of that, Illumina has been embroiled in a self-induced slow motion car crash that goes by the name Grail. Illumina has a new CEO and they’ve lost (and let go of) lots of good people. Given this new dynamism, It’s been widely anticipated that the newcomers will start stealing significant market share from Illumina.

Last year I estimated the 2022 market share breakdown of all the sequencing players (which you can review to see my methodology and how I'm defining the "sequencing market"). Despite all the bad news for Illumina, they were still far and away the most dominant company with over 80% of the market. I recently repeated my analysis with updated numbers through the end of 2023 to see how much of a market transition there has been. 

The new short-read competition and the increasing popularity of long-reads ate into Illumina’s market share, but not by much. Combined, they only took less than 3% away from Illumina. So while the tide may be turning, it is turning very slowly. And that may serve Illumina very well. Despite their troubles, they have the resources to potentially outlast some of the new competition, who likely have to raise money to reach profitability, establish new markets large enough to sustain profitability, or both.

2022 2023
Market Share Revenue ($M) Market Share Revenue ($M)
Illumina 80.4% $3,564 77.6% $3493
Ion Torrent 6.8% $300 6.6% $300
BGI 5.8% $255 7.1% $322
ONT 4.0% $178 4.7% $216
PacBio 2.9% $128 4.4% $201
Element 0.1% $4.19 0.5% $25
Singular  0.0% $0.76 0.1% $3

Chart showing 2022-2023 sequencing market share


Chart showing 2022-2023 short vs long read market share



2024 should continue to be interesting. Illumina finally has the Grail monkey off their back. Singular and Element have both announced spatial genomics offerings while Ultima Genomics finally has their high throughput offering on the market, Meanwhile, PacBio is retrenching and Oxford Nanopore will continue trying to convince the masses that their quality is good enough.

Shawn Baker

View posts by Shawn Baker
Founder and principal consultant at SanDiegOmics

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