Sadly, it's naive to think that a community can make a tech product more popular when the company behind it doesn't care. History bears me out here. There have been plenty of products in the same position with a vocal and loyal fan base but an indifferent company. Examples include Amiga, OS/2, and Newton. In all those cases there was a huge organized community marketing effort, but the product line eventually died anyway. (anyone remember Team OS/2?) and most of those communities were much bigger than the Zaurus.
Actually there are differences as far as OS/2 is concerned. OS/2 was shafted by Microsoft's restrictive licensing terms. In those days, OEMs had to pay for a Windows license on every machine sold, even if it was sold with a different OS (i.e OS/2). IBM was also trying to compete with other OEMs selling Windows based PCs. Because IBM was also trying to push OS/2, Microsoft penalised them by charging them significantly higher licenses for Windows. IBM did try to push OS/2 for a number of years, but couldn't compete with the popularity of Windows.
Microsoft could only get away with this because of the popularity of Windows in comparison to OS/2. IBM could have probably done a better job of marketing OS/2, but I think that they were totally taken by suprise by Microsoft's agressive and somewhat unethical marketing tactics.
Shortly before the release of OS/2 by IBM and Microsoft, during the Windows 1.x days, I was working for a small company developing software for Physicians, the owner of the company decided that we should rewrite our DOS software for OS/2. At the time one had to purchase the OS/2 SDK from Microsoft for $2200, which was a considerable expense for a small company. However Microsoft instead sold us the Windows SDK for under $100, with the promise that when OS/2 was released, we would simply need to recompile our software to be 100% OS/2 compatible. Needless to say that turned out to be less than honest.
I can't recall the exact timeline, but OS/2 and Windows 2.x were released sometime thereafter. When OS/2 was released, other than Wordperfect, and Lotus 123, there was very little in the way of 3rd party applications. Windows however was supported by a relatively huge range of 3rd party application along with Word & Excel. I can only surmise that many of the 3rd party developers were conned into developing for Windows like we were. For the average Joe, Windows was clearly the winner, it was cheaper, with tons of available 3rd party apps. For Microsoft, it was a tripple wammy, they established Windows, as well as Word and Excel. It took Lotus & Wordpefect years before they came out with Windows versions of their applications, by which time it was too late.
Up and till this point, OS/2 was a Microsoft and IBM product, so the turnaround by Microsoft must have taken IBM very much by suprise.
The Zaurus is a completely different kettle of fish, Sharp has a wonderful device that people want to buy. Everyone who has seen one of the clamshells has absolutely swooned, and would buy one at a reasonable price from their local electronics store. It just so happens that Sharp doesn't want to sell them, advertise them, support them or market them. Are they stupid or just plain arrogant?
A small investment in some halfway intelligent staff would pay off hansomely in the long run.
The PDA market is not the OS market of a few years back. Because there are two major players, not one, there is plenty of room for a good product to squeeze in and gain good market share, given support and marketing from the manufacturer.