BLU is an American company that designs and sells unlocked Android smartphones. BLU phones are known for offering premium design and features at budget prices. While BLU handles the design, software development and support for its phones, it does not actually manufacture the hardware itself.
BLU partners with various original design manufacturers (ODMs) in China and other parts of Asia to produce its devices. The specific ODMs that BLU works with may vary depending on the particular phone model. So who exactly are the manufacturers behind BLU’s affordable unlocked phones?
Major ODM Partners for BLU Phones
Based on reports and teardown analysis, some of the key ODMs that are known to manufacture phones for BLU include:
Shenzhen HYM Communication Technology Co., Ltd
HYM is a Chinese ODM based in Shenzhen that produces phones for various brands. They have manufactured a number of BLU phone models over the years, such as the BLU Vivo XL, BLU Life One X2, and BLU Studio Touch.
Shenzhen Cellon Communications Technology Co., Ltd
Cellon is another major ODM partner for BLU based in Shenzhen, China. They have produced phones such as the BLU R1 HD and BLU R2 Plus for BLU.
Hong Kong-based TINNO Mobile (also known as Tinno Electronics) is an ODM that has manufactured several BLU smartphones including the BLU Advance 5.0 and BLU Advance 5.2.
FIH Mobile Limited
FIH Mobile is a subsidiary of Foxconn Technology Group. They are a large OEM based in China that manufactures phones for various major brands. FIH Mobile has produced select models for BLU such as the BLU Energy XL.
Other ODM Partners
In addition to the major partners listed above, BLU has also worked with some other ODMs on various models including:
– Wingtech Group – Based in China, Wingtech has manufactured phones like the BLU Studio Selfie 2.
– Longcheer Telecommunication Limited – Another Chinese ODM that has produced devices like the BLU Win HD LTE for BLU.
– Huaqin Telecom Technology Co., Ltd. – Manufactured phones such as the BLU Studio Mega.
– RichGo Technology Co. – An ODM based in China that was behind the BLU Studio J8 HD.
So in summary, while BLU handles the design and software for its phones, the physical manufacturing and production is handled by various original design partners in China and Hong Kong. The specific ODM may vary depending on the particular BLU phone model.
BLU’s use of ODMs allows it to offer attractively designed phones with solid features at budget-friendly price points. By leveraging existing manufacturing capacities in Asia, BLU can minimize costs and pass those savings to consumers in the form of affordable unlocked phones.
BLU’s Partnership Strategy with ODMs
BLU employs an effective partnership strategy with ODMs that allows it to deliver a wide range of competitively priced, unlocked Android phones to the market. Here are some key aspects of how BLU leverages ODMs:
- Rapid development cycles – BLU can quickly iterate new designs and features by tapping established ODMs with proven manufacturing capacities.
- Cost efficiency – ODM production avoids major capital outlays and allows BLU to benefit from economies of scale.
- Design expertise – BLU works closely with ODMs, providing designs and specifications for each new phone model.
- Quality and testing – ODMs conduct quality assurance and testing during production under BLU’s oversight.
- Flexibility – BLU can scale production up or down with different ODMs as needed for each model.
- Focus on strengths – With ODMs handling manufacturing, BLU can focus on design, branding, software, support etc.
This ODM strategy has allowed BLU to establish itself as a provider of unlocked phones that deliver an impressive combination of quality, features and value across various price points.
Manufacturing Process for BLU Phones
So what exactly goes into making a BLU phone? Here is a high-level look at the typical manufacturing process:
1. Planning and Design
– BLU product team conceptualizes and designs new phone models based on market research, costs, trends etc.
– They determine technical specifications, materials, components etc.
– ODM partner is selected that can meet requirements at the target price point.
2. Sourcing of Components
– ODM sources required components like chipsets, memory, batteries, cameras, sensors, displays etc. from various suppliers.
– Components are tested and validated to ensure they meet technical specifications.
– ODM creates initial prototypes for evaluation by BLU team.
– Feedback is incorporated into design by ODM engineers.
– Multiple iterations done quickly to finalize design.
4. Manufacturing at Scale
– Once design is finalized, ODM shifts to mass production at its factory.
– Automated assembly lines rapidly assemble components into finished phones.
– Rigorous quality control and testing is done during production.
5. Software Installation & Distribution
– BLU loads the customized software builds onto the finished phones.
– Phones are packaged, shipped out globally and sold by BLU via various channels.
– BLU handles after-sales software support for the phones.
So in summary, BLU leverages the manufacturing capacities of ODMs to quickly and cost-effectively turn its designs into competitively priced phones for the global market.
Quality Control and Testing
While using ODMs allows BLU to scale production rapidly, the company still maintains strong oversight and quality control throughout the manufacturing process. Some of the quality control steps include:
- Multi-point inspections during assembly – Components and partially assembled phones are inspected at each stage.
- Functionality testing – Phones are powered on and automatically tested to verify all functions work.
- Aging testing – Phones undergo extended soak testing to catch any defects.
- Benchmark testing – Performance of hardware like processor, battery etc. benchmarked.
- Visual inspection – All units visually inspected for any external flaws.
- Packaging validation – Phones are drop tested in packaging to confirm protection.
In addition to process controls within the factory, BLU also performs quality assurance sampling on finished products:
- BLU selects random units from production batches for inspection.
- Devices are thoroughly tested against specifications and benchmarks.
- Any issues identified are quickly debugged with the ODM partner.
- Production only proceeds once quality is re-validated by BLU.
This robust quality control and working closely with its ODMs allows BLU to deliver phones with great build quality despite the affordable pricing.
Advantages of Using ODMs
There are a number of advantages BLU gains by partnering with ODMs for manufacturing rather than making phones completely in-house:
- Faster time to market – No need to build own production facilities. Can leverage proven ODM expertise.
- Flexibility – Can scale production up and down more easily. Switch ODMs if required.
- Cost savings – Avoid major capital investment. Benefit from ODM economies of scale.
- Specialization – BLU can focus on software, design etc. while ODMs handle manufacturing.
- Quality – Established ODMs have rigorous quality control practices.
- Control – BLU still oversees the entire process and enforce standards.
The use of ODMs is key to BLU’s strategy of delivering feature-packed unlocked phones at accessible price points. By leveraging external manufacturing capacity, BLU can minimize costs and pass on the savings directly to consumers.
In summary, while BLU directly handles the software, design, branding and support for its phones, the actual physical production is handled by various original design partners primarily located in China.
BLU strategically works with established ODMs like HYM, Cellon, TINNO Mobile and others to manufacture specific models. The ODM used may vary depending on the particular phone.
This ODM partnership strategy allows BLU to focus on its core strengths while benefitting from the manufacturing capabilities and economies of scale of its production partners. Rigorous quality control and oversight throughout the process also ensures a high bar for quality and performance.
By leveraging external ODMs, BLU is able to deliver attractively designed unlocked Android phones loaded with features at budget-friendly prices. Theuse of proven manufacturing partners has been key to establishing BLU as a leading provider of affordable unlocked phones for value-conscious consumers.