Sharp has started shipping a Linux-based handheld supporting enterprise applications and databases.
The Zaurus SL-6000 is targeted mainly at corporate customers, said Deanna Davis, a Sharp spokeswoman. "It is designed be an enterprise piece as opposed to a PDA that anyone would buy," she said.
The PDA is powered by an Intel XScale 400Mhz processor, with 64Mbytes of synchronous dynamic Ram, 64Mbytes of flash memory and a lithium-polymer battery. It has a VGA screen and an integrated speaker and microphone to record and play back conversations.
It has a built-in qwerty thumb keyboard that can be protected by a sliding control panel. The PDA can withstand a 1m drop, the company said.
The device supports Java, which is important for business application use, Davis said. It also supports IBM's Websphere application server.
IBM and Sharp are working together to sell the product through the companies' respective channels, she said.
The $699 (£377) SL-6000 has built-in 802.11b Wi-Fi networking and compact flash and secure digital/multimediacard card slots.
Fred O'Connor writes for IDG News Service