ASUS smartphone browsers to come with AdBlocker preloaded

The assault on mobile ads continues, and ASUS is the latest company to join in on the fight. According to a report by Engadget, the Taiwanese tech company will start shipping some smartphone models next year which will come with an ad blocker installed by default.

The rarely seen practice works like this: ASUS' in-house web browser will come with AdBlock Plus preloaded and turned on by default.

AdBlock Plus is an add-on for browsers which blocks intrusive ads – those bright and flashing ads, pop-ups and those serving malware. Some ads, which do not ruin the user’s internet experience, remain visible.

Engaged predicts the impact on the ad-supported web may be limited, as ASUS’ browser has ‘just’ 15 million users. Other users, running alternative browsers, are counted in the millions, and the policy won’t do much if you’re the kind of person who, as soon as he gets a new device, installs a new browser, either Chrome or Firefox.

Ad blocking has become quite popular lately, with some of UK’s biggest telecoms considering adding an ad blocking software on a network level. Both EE and O2 have confirmed contemplating such a move.

O2 is in “advanced stages” of looking into blocking ads on its mobile network, with the company testing certain technology that can block ads.

“We are absolutely looking at [network-level ad blocking] technology … We are looking at these technologies to see if they can help our customers with some of the bad practices and disruptive experiences that are happening,” O2 managing director of digital commerce Robert Franks recently said.