The first cellphone running revamped Symbian 3 software is set to be introduced by an Asian vendor, not Nokia, the main user of the most widely used mobile operating system, Symbian's chief told Reuters. Last month Nokia warned its first phone using Symbian 3 software — which is faster and simpler to use for consumers and software developers — would be delayed into the third quarter from the second, triggering a sell-off in its shares.

Nokia still makes around 40 percent of the smartphones, but it has struggled against new rivals Apple and Google at the high end of the market, and Symbian 3 is seen by investors as the first step for the Finnish handset maker to make its smartphones competitive again. Lee Williams, executive director of Symbian Foundation, declined to name the Asian vendor who would ship the first Symbian 3 model, but said Symbian 3 code was nearly ready.

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