Samsung’s software has always been, for lack of a better description, absolute crap, so much so that it’s actually hurting the company’s mobile business. This isn’t something that Samsung can allow to continue, which is why it’s finally making an effort to improve its software in a number of ways, the first of which is the introduction of ad-blockers. Even the online ad industry itself has admitted that ads are annoying as hell, but its promise to change that might be too little too late as more and more people turn to installing ad-blockers on their computers and mobile devices. Samsung’s decision to start implementing ad-blockers in its software is a great way to cash in on the current anti-ad movement, and considering how nearly a quarter of all smartphones sold last year were Samsung devices, this is really bad news for the ad industry.
The world’s largest smartphone maker, Samsung, has introduced adblocking on its devices, potentially introducing hundreds of millions more people to barring online ads. Samsung released an update on Sunday night that allows apps to stop ads appearing in its own web browser, which is installed as a default on its smartphones. Samsung is the first major maker of smartphones running Google’s Android operating system to enable adblocking, following a similar announcement by iPhone maker Apple in September. Samsung accounted for 22% of all smartphones sold in 2015, according to Strategy Analytics, just ahead of Apple’s 16%. The Korean firm’s decision to allow its customers to block ads will be a further headache for companies that make money from digital advertising, as most are seeing their audiences rapidly move to mobile devices. Until Apple’s announcement, adblocking rates remained far lower on smartphones than desktops in most regions outside Asia. However, research published last week by GlobalWebIndex suggested that the number of people blocking ads on mobiles is rapidly approaching the same level. Samsung’s decision is likely to have less impact than Apple’s because many users of its Android operating system use Google’s Chrome browser, which is automatically offered as a way to open links on the devices. Google makes the vast majority of its revenue from advertising and is unlikely to be enthusiastic about adblocking.