In this particular case, "Original" doesn't mean "authentic." It means that this particular company has assembled a series of parts into a finished, sellable product.
If a small company makes some parts, it is not the OEM for the finished product.
If a second, usually larger company assembles these subcontractors' parts into a completed product, it is the OEM.
very true, although for small company you can also read suppliers (tier1, tier2 etc.) In that case the tier can be as big or bigger than the OEM (case in point: the automotive industry, where Bosch, Delphi, Faurecia, Magna, etc. are huge -tier1- suppliers.)
To make matters confusing these exact parts that get sold to OEMs are sometimes also sold separately and as such will be labelled "OEM versions". On the other hand such OEM parts may be limited strictly to OEM use. IE, Dimarzio supplies OEM pickups to Ibanez, but not retail, or MS supplies Vista OEM to Dell computers, but it may differ in details from Vista retail. This all depends on the deal between OEM and supplier.
Fujigen, a Japanese manufacturer, does make guitars for ibanez and so they would be an OEM. Can't get more authentic than that.
Not really, Fujigen builds guitars, including all MIJ Ibanez models, but they will not sell anything similar to an Ibanez model under their own brand (ie no RG, no Jem, no S) but they do build Fujigen branded -high quality- guitars including Les Paul and Strat copies.
This process of making something only to put another manufacturer's name on it is known as tolling (full production outsourcing) So Fujigen is an OEM only
for its own branded guitars but a toller
for Ibanez. Ibanez is the OEM, although they do not manufacture anything themselves! (much like Dell or Nike)
Simply put: In the relationship between Ibanez and Fujigen, Ibanez is the OEM but Fujigen is not.
Ibanez has had a similar arrangement with Cord (Korea) which builds MIK Ibanez guitars, but also sells guitars under its own brand. The relationships between Ibanez and Fujigen or Cord are pretty straightforward and well known, but its relationship with suppliers and tollers in China and Indonesia is much more obscure. Once you outsource to China (or India) there is a good chance that your designs will get copied by your own local suppliers, their suppliers or their competitors. Not that it matters since none of them can claim OEM status when it comes to Ibanez guitars.
Note that tolling is pretty normal in the automotive industry as well, for example the (Euro) Chrysler 300C is build at Steyr in Austria. Steyr is not an OEM, but Chrysler is. However when you buy a set of Delphi brake pads for your 300C, these may be labelled OEM parts.
With Ibanez guitars -much like with cars- the proof should be in the serial number (VIN for cars) which should indicate the manufacturing location.
To some OEM is a stamp of approval, especially if the choice is OEM parts v aftermarket parts. But to others (most notably in the "real" v OEM Dimarzio discussions) it somehow means lesser quality or generic. Presumably because Ibanez will have a good deal with Dimarzio for the ibz models and would pay less than a normal customer would pay retail for the same pickup. Higher price must mean higher quality, right?
To me it's meaningless, I prefer to look at the actual quality of parts, it helps to know where stuff comes from. To be fair I, wouldn't want to touch a non-Fujigen Ibanez, and I'm not interested in a MIJ Ibanez with the MIC Edgezero either.