ODMs v. OEMs

The argument against outsourcing product design is that doing so gives the EMS subcontractor the experience to juimp into the market with their own branded products, thus competing with the OEM customer. EMS and ODMs, of course, dispute such intentions.

Well, one major Taiwanese ODM appears to have overreached. As noted today Sony is shifting notebooks production from Asustek to Foxconn. Reason: It’s not stated, but Asustek has bolstered its own presence in the notebook market, and is competing in some areas with its customer.

This is not to paint with a broad brush, but it is something to consider as EMS players such as Sanmina-SCI, Flextronics and others increasingly bring their own designs to market.

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About Mike

Mike Buetow is president of the Printed Circuit Engineering Association (pcea.net). He previously was editor-in-chief of Circuits Assembly magazine, the leading publication for electronics manufacturing, and PCD&F, the leading publication for printed circuit design and fabrication. He spent 21 years as vice president and editorial director of UP Media Group, for which he oversaw all editorial and production aspects. He has more than 30 years' experience in the electronics industry, including six years at IPC, an electronics trade association, at which he was a technical projects manager and communications director. He has also held editorial positions at SMT Magazine, community newspapers and in book publishing. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois. Follow Mike on Twitter: @mikebuetow