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The latest version of the default web browser on Samsung's Android phones will allow users to install ad-blocker extensions. The move mirrors an update by Apple in September that allowed ad-blockers to be installed as extensions for the Safari browser. Blockers on Samsung phones will have to be added in the same way and will not come as standard. The new browser has begun rolling out for Android Lollipop or higher users. Popular ad-blockers, Adblock Fast and Crystal, have already been made available for Samsung phones. As well as making web pages less cluttered, ad-blockers often improve browsers' performance - and reduce the draw on phone batteries and data plans.

'Massive dissatisfaction'

"Those who use ad-blockers will likely use other browsers than the default one," said advertising industry analyst Daniel Knapp at IHS. "It's nonetheless important for Samsung to jump on the ad-blocking bandwagon." "It wants to show customers that it is a premium brand that protects them as well as Apple." Mr Knapp also told the BBC there had been a "seismic change" in the ad industry, in which marketing budgets were increasingly being moved from traditional forms of advertising to, for example, sponsorship deals. He said it was those most highly prized by advertisers, young and affluent users, who were more likely to use ad-blockers in the first place. "I think it's an expression of massive consumer dissatisfaction with the way the ad industry works," he said. more