Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Definition

The manufacturer of equipment that is used by another vendor as part of a larger product being marketed and sold by that vendor. Typical examples include hard drives, CD-ROMs, and RAM that are each manufactured by different companies, but are bundled together by a company like Dell or HP and sold as a complete computer system. In this examples, Dell and HP would be called value added resellers (VARs). Some companies like IBM are both OEMs and VARs.

Sometimes OEM parts are sold directly to consumers (especially via ecommerce sites). These are generally less expensive than the equivalent, but branded versions of the same part.

Related Terms

  • Value Added Reseller (VAR)

Other Definitions

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