Opera has provided an useful benchmark on popular mobile destinations in Malaysia as well as other selected countries, via the State of the Mobile Web, May 2009 report. Malaysia enjoys a growth rate (as in unique users) of 249.6% since May 2008, third highest in Southeast Asia after Vietnam and Philippines.
Top sites ranked by unique users
Comparing to the report in Oct 2008, tagged.com is a new entry in this recent report while the sole local site utusan.com.my has dropped out from the top 10 list. If you look into Southeast Asia region, Malaysia is the only country without a local site in the top tens among countries like Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and even Brunei.
Talking about local sites, the only one that I am visiting occasionally is TheStarMobile. Kudos to The Star for polishing up their mobile presence recently. The same cannot be said of Sin Chew though. It seems that they are only interested in offering monthly subscription via SMS (RM 5 per month) rather than providing free and updated content on their WAP site.
Friendster VS Facebook
There are a lot of talks on Facebook beating Friendster in Malaysia, or Southeast Asia as a whole. On the contrary, Friendster manages to stay above Facebook in terms of mobile access in Malaysia, as well as Philippines (of course) and Brunei.
Talking about Philippines, Friendster has launched a promotion together with a leading telco there. Users subscribed to this plan will be able to surf Friendster mobile site for 24 hours by paying only 20 Philippine Peso (around RM 1.50).
Since Friendster is still hugely popular in Southeast Asia, it seems logical that Friendster has to focus its efforts in this region to combat Facebook's colonization. Promotions like this would definitely be a welcome move in other Southeast Asia countries, not only in Philippines.
Top Mobile Phone Models in Malaysia
Similar to the Malaysian Youth's Top Brands survey, Nokia continues to dominate not only in Malaysia, but in Southeast Asia as well. It is quite interesting to see that Sony Ericsson models are more popular here in relative to other countries in this region.
1. Nokia N70
2. Sony Ericsson W910i
3. Sony Ericsson K800i
4. Sony Ericsson K530i
5. Nokia 5610
6. Nokia 5130c
7. Sony Ericsson K810i
8. Sony Ericsson W660i
9. Nokia 3120b
10. Nokia N73