IBM recently showed off a Linux PDA they’ve been working on at the LinuxWorld show in New York last week. IBM’s not been a part of the PDA world since they sold the re-badged Palm m500/5 years ago.
Tom’s Hardware has posted the picture and an overview of IBM’s plans for Linux. An excerpt from the story:
IBM tackled LinuxWorld in New York on many fronts. Its software group preached the open-source Linux gospel and spoke of how IBM now offers software and hardware based on Linux platforms that include PDAs, car communications, workstations and its PlayStation III project with Sony, for which IBM’s semiconductor group, IBM Microelectronics, will be highly instrumental. http://www.tomshardware.com/business/20040127/linux-01.html
It’s not known if IBM has any intention of actually selling this or any other PDA in the commercial market. They certainly have the horsepower to do so if they wish, but many manufacturers, both large and small, are finding the North American PDA market one that is difficult to make a profit in. With HP, Dell, palmOne and Sony firmly established, it’s nearly impossible for a new player to get involved and take any sort of reasonable market share. If IBM does move forward though, they will be the second major manufacturer of a Linux-based PDA in the US, along with Sharp.