Since the financial crisis in last century, China has been the manufacturing base of global consumer products because of the low labor cost and investing policies, especially the manufacturing of consumer electronics like mobile phone, most manufacturing factories were built in cities of Guangdong, like Shenzhen, Dongguan and Huizhou. The industry development and expansion leading by international mobile phone brands, like Apple, Samsung and HTC, not just have trained many batches of skilled talents and bring more developed and advanced manufacturing technique, but also provide a chance to Chinese local communication equipments and smartphone related manufacturers start and grow up rapidly. After more than 17 years development, until now, there are more than 2,000 China mobile phone OEM manufacturers, including some well-know smartphone OEMs like Huawei and ZTE and most less-known brands. And there are more China OEM manufacturers, about 10,000 companies, who are related with the mobile phone industry more or less. Among so many OEM manufacturers, Independent Design House (IDH) firms play an important role in the mobile phone industry. Without IDH firms’ effort to design and fabricate, the chipset is just chipset, and it can’t be a complete handset to offer the multiple functions a smartphone should do.
What does an IDH firm do? Generally, the IDH firm develops the platform and offers solutions based on the Integrated Circuit (IC) that developed by chip makers, to guarantee that a smartphone’s research and development runs smoothly so that the smartphone can come onto market quickly. Take the most popular IC company - MediaTek for example, the IDH firms will purchase the chipsets like MTK6755 from MediaTek, then design a circuit based on the chipset and package the antenna, face shell, cover shell, smartphone camera and battery according to the circuit, decide the thickness of a smartphone and how to insert or pull the SIM card; at the same time, the IDH firms also need to develop software for the smartphones so decide the UI mode and features and then test. If the solution (or motherboard) works well, then they can sell it to mobile phone integrators who will have production line to assemble all the parts of a smartphone, like motherboard from IDH firms, screen, camera and housing.
That is to say, IDH firms are in the middle of the mobile phone industry chain: the upstream is chipset companies who provide the IC, and the downstream is the smartphone integrated enterprises that assemble smartphones for Original Equipment Manufacturers from China or international.
Along with the developing of Chinese mobile phone business, most IDH firms are located in China’s most developed cities, like Shanghai, Beijing and Shenzhen. The top 10 IDH firms are WaterWorld, Wingtech, Huaqin, Longcheer, Wind, Fise, Hui Ye, Bird, Boway and SOP, to view the full list, please visit Chinese OEM manufacturers and factory list.
And if you have any suggestions and ideas on this topic, please leave your comments.