What Does OEM Mean?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by h4lp m3, Jan 12, 2015.

  1. h4lp m3, Jan 12, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2015

    h4lp m3 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2011
    Location:
    New Orleans
    #1
    1) I know what OEM stands for, It's original equipment manufacturer, but what does that mean?

    For example: Foxconn makes Thunderbolt cables but before Apple puts their logo on it, it's an unbranded Foxconn product or "OEM", since they were the original manufacturers... Right?

    2) Is OEM is just a fancy way of saying it's generic?

    The reason I ask, is because I'm trying to figure out if THESE THUNDERBOLT CABLES I found on eBay are "genuine" Apple products or generic crap that will break in a week. I need to buy 15 of them so I'm trying to minimize cost.

    Here is another guy selling "Genuine OEM Apple Thunderbolt Cables", but they look like they're in the original box. This bring made to my third and final question:

    3) How do OEM products find their way into the marketplace? Did they fall off the back of a truck?
     
  2. nutjob macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    #2
    I guess you've never heard of Google or Wikipedia:

    "OEM is an original equipment manufacturer, the original manufacturer of a component for a product, which may be resold by another company."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Original_equipment_manufacturer

    So it differentiates the brand of a product from the actual manufacturer of the product. Sometimes there is no brand so the product is sold as a "white box" or unbranded item. This may be the exact same product as a branded one, but without the brand. They get to market the exact same way as every other product, minus the name and promotion.
     
  3. Yebubbleman macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #3
    The cliff's notes version of what OEM means, at least as far as it pertains to consumer electronics:

    Made by another company (we'll call Company A) for use in another company's (we'll call Company B) product.

    Company A created the hardware (if a hardware product) and the necessary software/firmware for the component, but Company B takes ownership and assumes responsibility for providing support and/or software updates for said component as it then becomes part of Company B's finished product.

    (However, often times (as is more the case with cars), the OEM product can also be made by Company B with the intention of more commonly being distributed as part of the finished product rather than be individually.)

    In the case of Apple Mac computers, for instance. Broadcom may make the Gigabit Ethernet and/or WiFi components in, let's say, the Mid 2012 15" MacBook Pro, however, Apple assumes ownership and responsibility for providing and issuing updates for drivers for said component in both OS X and Windows (when used with the Boot Camp drivers).

    In the case of PCs, the same holds true for drivers of hardware that Dell, Lenovo, Asus, or any of the others use.

    When it comes to Windows itself, said manufacturers will utilize a special OEM version of Windows. This version costs the manufacturers/system builders less to provide, but that's partly because Microsoft assumes no responsibility to provide technical support for Windows (as that responsibility is passed to the original equipment manufacturer, hence "OEM".).


    Make sense?
     
  4. h4lp m3, Jan 12, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2015

    h4lp m3 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2011
    Location:
    New Orleans
    #4
    Well gee, thanks Mr. condescending. :rolleyes:
    Sort of... I'm trying to figure out how that has to do online merchants such as Amazon or eBay.
    I once bought an "OEM" UPS cable for my iPad off of overstock.com and when I plugged it in it said something like "Charging is not supported with this accessory" so my guess is that it was generic but they just lied.
     
  5. Yebubbleman macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #5
    In that context, it means that it is a component that is not sold with support from the manufacturer as it is intended to be integrated into another product where said other product manufacturer provides support for their entire product as a whole. How that pertains to you is that your manufacturer assumes to responsibility or support for your use of that part and, yes, it might as well be an aftermarket off-brand part.
     

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