Symbian to set up China unit next year

London-based mobile phone OS maker Symbian is planning to establish a branch in China in an effort to explore emerging markets, a SinoCast report said.  

The company plans to put up the China branch in early 2007, the SinoCast report said.

Symbian also said the move is part of efforts to expand its brand in China and establish closer tie ups with Chinese smartphone operators, the report added.

Local media said Symbian CEO Nigel Clifford will make the announcement soon.

The global sales of smartphones with Symbian operating systems had exceeded 100 million units last year.

Nokia continues to be the leader in this market although its share in the global smartphone segment had been diminishing in 2006. Global demand for smartphones meanwhile has been increasing robustly.