OEM (original equipment manufacturer)

This confusing term has two meanings: Originally, an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) was a company that supplied equipment to other companies to resell or incorporate into another product using the reseller's brand name.

This confusing term has two meanings:

1) Originally, an OEM (original equipment manufacturer)REG was a company that supplied equipment to other companies to resell or incorporate into another product using the reseller's brand name. For example, a maker of refrigerators like Frigidaire might sell its refrigerators to a retailer like Sears to resell under a brand name owned by Sears. A number of companies, both equipment suppliers and equipment resellers, still use this meaning.

2) More recently, OEM is used to refer to the company that acquires a product or component and reuses or incorporates it into a new product with its own brand name.

Also see value-added reseller (VAR), a similar term applied to the repackaging of software.

This was first published in July 2007

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