Sony Ericsson will sell the first smart phone based on the latest Symbian OS from early next year.

The P990 will run on version 9.1 as well as the UIQ 3 software platform. UIQ 3 lets developers write applications that will run on phones from different manufacturers, saving on rewriting and tweaking ofr individual headsets.

Plus a new developer programme for UIQ3 will be available to 500 developers who sign up at Symbian's annual conference taking place in London this week. The final version of the SDK will be available for download at the end of the month.

The Sony Ericsson P990 operates on UMTS and Wi-Fi networks and will include a two megapixel camera. Users can view websites through Operar. The phone comes with 80MB of free memory and a 64MB memory stick. A 4GB memory stick will be available separately.

Sony Ericsson said it was announcing the phone in advance of its availability in order to allow developers time to create applications that can be used as soon as the phone goes on sale. Developers can program in C++ or Java.