Which components of a laptop would be made in house and which would be outsourced?

By katie1212 ยท 4 replies
Jun 6, 2005
  1. Hi, I have to write a paper about make or buy decisions for laptop companies. I don't really know much about the subject at all, I'm not that familiar with computer hardware. which components are usually made in-house and which are outsourced to other companies? would a company such as Dell make most of the computer or not? For example, would the frame, screen, and circuits be made by dell, another factory contracted to dell, or would the parts come from various companies and assembled at one location? How does Dell work, is it a service based company or does it produce the actual machines? I really appreciate any thoughts or ideas, I'm struggling here... thanks, katie
  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    It depends on the product line. Some models from a company will be made mostly in-house while others will be rather generic products from white box makers with a custom paint job. You will find more in-house work in high-end models while the cheapest ones are mostly outsourced.
  3. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Similar to Nodsu's answer, most 'manufacturers' are only people who assemble parts they get from all over the place. Larger companies might make their own cases (whether desktop or laptop) but nearly all of them obtain their parts such as motherboards, memory, harddisks, CD/DVD drives, floppies, powersupplies, graphics cards, soundcards from manufacturers who specialize in that type of part.
    The big ones, such as Dell, have their motherboards made to Dell-specifications. Nearly every manufacturer will 'brand' their parts with another company's name, provided the order is big enough.
    Screens e.g. are made only by a handful of manufacturers, they then sell them on to others who construct a case around them and design their own electronics for controlling the screen.
    Powersupplies made by Fortron Source e.g., are sold under over 20 different names.
  4. katie1212

    katie1212 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thanks, this will certainly help me out...
  5. tdeg

    tdeg TS Rookie Posts: 119

    By component....

    1) Casing - usually made by the company because its their own look.
    2) Motherboard - usually made by the company or made by another company to their specs.
    3) Hardrives - outsourced, probably the most standard component between laptops
    4) Memory - outsourced
    5) Screen - outsourced, but usually made to spec. Most are LG/Phillips/etc.
    6) Optical/floppy drives - outsourced, but repackaged so they fit in the companies version of removable drive slot.
    7) Communication cards (modem/ethernet/wireless) - Chipset is outsourced, usually the board is custom made so it fits onto the motherboard.
    8) Battery - outsourced, but made to spec so it fits into laptop.
    9) Power supply (external) - outsourced, but made to spec so that it fits brand image.

    Mostly laptops are like desktops in that most components are "standard". The difference is that desktops have a standardized form factor and laptops don't.
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