What do you understand by the term 'OEM'?

What do understand by the term 'OEM'?

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Senior Member
Jan 25, 2003
So what do you understand by the term 'OEM'? e.g. 'OEM' battery, lens cap etc. Asking this question as I have seen quite a number of threads in buy/sell that use this term. What I understand by Original Equipment Manufacturer is that the Canon/Nikon/etc branded parts that was manufactured by someone else. "Third party" would refer to branding other than the Canon/Nikon/etc themselves.

What's your understanding?



New Member
Feb 15, 2002
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eh.. I understand it as (in a conventional way), parts made by original manufacturer, but rebranded

for example..
CD-rom drive made by pioneer, but sold and branded as creative

that would be creative brand, OEM by pioneer

in short, parts made by orginal manufacturer, but not sold by them

but then.. nowadays everybody just lump the words altogether..
(like OEM, third party, grey, etc)

which are all very different actually

in my understanding only.. correct me if i'm wrong :cool:


Senior Member
Jul 27, 2004
i always believed it to be : parts and brand made by the same original company..

OEM companys are third party manufacturers.Companies that are in the business of manufacturing, designing and even researching to produce products or parts for private labels.

For example in taiwan there are a number of OEM manufacturers that manufacture and supply complete product or parts to brands like Dell, Sony, Toshiba or IBM.etc. In fact some OEM does almost all the parts and installation that the only thing that not done made by them or own by them is the label you stick on the final product.

Without going into too much detail the company I work for also uses a number of OEM companies to produce our products.


New Member
Sep 9, 2003
My opinion.

OEM = the company who manufactures the part

the brand company contracts the oem to manufacture the item.

eg; IBM harddrives were made by hitachi and branded as IBM. (and then IBM sold their drive unit to hitachi cos they screw up on a major QC problem resulting in bad brand reputation for IBM harddisks, so we now have hitachi harddrives.)

its outsourcing..


Senior Member
Sep 22, 2004
Cons digger.
i think everyone's right in their own way.

As long as the final product is branded as something else other than the manufacturer. it's OEM..

something like "creative brand, OEM by pioneer" as pointed out by lytefunk.
some taiwan company just own a factory but no brand.. so they are also OEMers..

If pioneer will to take the back door and consumers know their stuff well, they'll buy the same product from pioneer which usually costs cheaper but no warranty from creative - just an example.

so your poll doesn't contain the correct answer! :bsmilie:

grey sets are just parallel imported and thus doesn't have warranty from the brand, but it's still manufactured by the same people! (there might be fakes though..)


New Member
Mar 6, 2004
Somewhere out there
As explained by lytefunk, OEM = original (equipment) manufacturer

third party product is manufacture by another company for use with eg Nikon/Canon,etc

Energizer makes batteries under their own brand. But they also OEM for others, like Fuji, etc ... u could ask them to brand it under yr own brand. Eventhough the batteries are from the same source (design & manufacture), the specifications are different. This is bcos of cost. If u tell Energizer that u want them to make battery for u at S$0.30 each, then the lifespan may be shorter, etc...

alankuik - don laugh .. really got such thing as OEM software too


Senior Member
Aug 19, 2004
Planet SG™
Yeowww said:
alankuik - don laugh .. really got such thing as OEM software too
Those software that comes bundled with your pc when you bought it are OEM. :) Less features i guess. Those that cost mega bucks in the stores are the full version.

Dec 18, 2003
dictionary.com gives this definition

original equipment manufacturer (OEM)
A company that purchases computers or other complex components from manufacturers, adds other hardware or software, and sells the systems, often for specific applications.

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