I forgot to add Malaysia.
Not sure about Thailand. Many important production facilities are also in Thailand, Shanghai, Taipei, Guangjou of Guangdong, and somewhere between Guangjou and Hong Kong, in addition to the places listed above. Tokyo is the home of most BIG NAMES that appear on CDFreaks news. One reason South Korea is no more included for PC hardware is that South Korea almost expelled many Western and Japanese companies by riots and strikes (helped by NK and communists) so they closed factories and Asia-Pacific headquarters there and moved elsewhere, like Singapore and Malaysia. One reason Samsung has become world’s first electronics company after becoming the largest DRAM company is that Samsung never allowed labor union. An amusing fact is that Samsung rewards its employees better than any other companies while some others with the strongest and violent labor unions rapidly went bankrupt or sold overseas or lost domestic market share to Samsung. Over 10 billion profits this year again.
Hardware products are also cheap in China and sometimes introduced there first, but shoppers on the street there need to be more careful.
Those who come to Asia for cheap hardware products better first consult online sources. CDFreaks forums are of course not such sources since Kakaku.com and Danawa.co.kr are there for such purposes. Considering the efforts and price differences, I think it’s better not expect anything in advance. Just sightseeing on the electronics and computer markets should do and if you find some good deals by chance, find first if it’s negotiable and then decide. There is no place like the United States that rewards consumers best.
Products that require intensive labor are cheap even in South Korea’s Yongsan market like the 80cm IDE cables I use and some PC cases because there are hundreds of thousands in Seoul alone for such labor and their average monthly payment is about US$1K and many receive only around US$0.5K, a dream for billions of people but unacceptable for most readers here. Dong-guan and Guang-dong areas in the mainland are many times better. But coming to East Asia to employ local people for such a small-scale labor is nonsense. One of my friends who also runs his optical storage communities (in Korean) is working in China because building and running a factory for Kimchi and PC hardware components is so much cheaper there. I also wanted to go there and thought about it a few times but I can’t speak Chinese yet.