Samsung’s region lock causing problems, might extend to Galaxy S3 and Note II after Android 4.4 update

It seems like the regional SIM lock Samsung has put on the Galaxy Note 3 in Europe and the U.S. is an issue that isn’t going away any time soon. After initial outrage from users, Samsung recently issued a statement that the SIM lock only comes into effect if you turn on the device for the first time with a foreign SIM card, and that the handset can be used anywhere in the world after it has been activated with a local SIM card.

However, that doesn’t seem to be the case for many users out there, and a Samsung official has reportedly confirmed to an XDA user that the Note 3 cannot be used with SIM cards from a region that it wasn’t bought in. The company rep, after being asked several times, said that the region lock means that you simply cannot use a European Note 3 with a SIM card from the USA, even if the device has been turned on with a local SIM for the first time.

Basically, the region lock cannot be bypassed and is final, with many users over at the XDA forums complaining of incidents such as a Note 3 bought in Germany not working with a SIM from Thailand. Moreover, what’s worrying is that the aforementioned company rep said that the region lock will be extended to current devices like the S3 and Note II with the Android 4.4 KitKat update, meaning international roaming would become impossible unless you continue to use a SIM from the home country of the device.

Now, usually we’d rejoice at hearing that the rep could have unintentionally confirmed that an Android 4.4 update is coming, but the gravity of the region lock situation is a serious one. The region locking is being done to supposedly curtail grey imports, but really, how many grey importers import devices that have been in use for more than a year or so? It’s clear that despite Samsung’s attempts to clear the air and try to talk down the commotion over its rather stupid region locking stunt, the problem isn’t going away and could cause major backlash in the coming weeks.

But hey, maybe that backlash will cause them to backtrack on their plans to region lock old devices, and perhaps remove the limitation from the Note 3 through a software update as well. Fingers crossed that the Korean manufacturer does what’s in the best interest of consumers, instead of troubling them just to stop a few grey importers from making a quick buck.

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zawzawaungit.mr
1 year 5 months ago

Hello Samsung,

If you have wrong strategy, you will be loss your market as like Nokia, Kodak.

ersinbull
1 year 6 months ago

What about Turkey? You sold Note3 N9000Q in Turkey, even we didn’t want that version. Now you ignore us while upgrading to 4.4.2 kitkat. WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? 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Waiting for your answer…

ersinbull
1 year 6 months ago

Samsung,

God damn you!

You brought a second quality phone to Turkey.(Note3 N9000 iso N9005). Now, you upgrade N9005 to Android 4.4.2 Kit-kat, first. Do you think that we don’t pay any money for N9000? The price is the same, the service we get is much less.

So, god damn you!

Hrishi911
1 year 9 months ago

samsung is stupid for doing this
there is no regional specific device for Suriname (country where I live). I usually buy my devices in europe or USA. So if samsung is planning on loosing customers like me, they can leave the region lock.

oli_tf
1 year 9 months ago

hey guys! no worries about this handicap … you can always buy a dual sim Note3 or jailbreak your samsung, sure this will be possible, or just buy as many devices as countries you travel to. Continue buying Samsung’s devices or you want Apple again to become Nº1?
It’s a matter of honor: As Samsung fan now starts the phase of suffering, but you are al masoquists, a little.

dynamind
1 year 9 months ago

Jailbreak? I bought an unlocked i9300 device for 629 Euro 10 months ago. For samsung I can only recommend reverting back to realistic scenarios cause I’m already flirting with iPhone 5S.
Or maybe I’ll wait for iPhone 6.

sotmax
1 year 9 months ago

Galaxy Note 2 was is last samsung device as a dev and as a user.
Too many restrictions around samsung that make it closer to apple products…..
bb sammy….

fahed15
1 year 9 months ago

whats wrong with you samsung !!!!!! we waited 4 months after you skip 4.2.2 and u want to make us wait more ?! no way if these news are true i swear i will sell my phone right away and buy nexus

hafeez_95
1 year 9 months ago

samsung palying fooling game with users to buy new samsung s4 or note 3 but they spoil there image , users are not happy with it never go with new Samsung they will go with anther brand ,

Yaman90
1 year 9 months ago

I was thinking of buying Note III after the great failure of GS4 just because of the heating and the battery issues now I’ll never ever buy any Samsung device NOT EVEN IN THE FU***** FUTURE -______-

WhatsThePoint
1 year 9 months ago

An HTC phone OK but Apple….say it ain’t so.

Microsoft is trying to get HTC to make a dual booting Android/WP8 phone.

M$ really wants the Windows Store download money that it’s wiilling to OK this move.

firaswajeeh
1 year 9 months ago

Samsung is committing a suicide If this news is confirmed.
And grey market has minimal impact, and the difference in prices between countries doesn’t worth it.

AdL2012
1 year 9 months ago

This is a big bull shit

If this happen i will pass to an iPhone or Nexus phone

superchelsea
1 year 9 months ago

One more voice for never buying a locked phone, from Samsung or anyone.

gwaeggi
1 year 9 months ago

In the jurisdiction of Switzerland, an update taking away functions can be considered a damage of the product and the company “damaging” the product can be prosecuted for it. There used to be a device called “ogo”, also called the “Blackberry for the Poor”, a device which you could use for e-mailing/chatting/SMS sending/surfing. The original Software allowed tethering, so business people “missused” it for getting into the internet nearly for free via mobile network. All who bougt the device before the restricting update, were entitled to get the original software back. Samsung watch out what you do…

fignut
1 year 9 months ago

HTC here i come you can keep your phones — oh and your tablets, looks like an apple ipad for me too.

galaxyace123
1 year 9 months ago

It has already been hacked by XDA dev Chainfire and he;s making an app for removing region lock soon!

xhustler
1 year 9 months ago

This makes my decission NOT to get a Note 3 a whole lot easier. The Samsung stores in Africa only have the Exynos version and this time round, I wanted the Snapdragon version. I can barely play mass effect on my S2 without getting my fingers burned – literally, thus no more Exynos for me.

Guess I will have to wait for the ‘next big thing’ and pray that the cherry on top is not a layer of BS.

This may be off topic but … Someone kindly help me understand why almost all manufactures dump ‘inferior’ gadgets mainly in Africa – iCrap 5c, all exynos based devices et cetera. If I can afford a high end Exynos powered device, then I can afford the Snapdragon version too. Don’t tell me it’s coz we have no LTE yet.

gogolak
1 year 9 months ago

lol sammy…samsung is heading to an apple strategy! shame on u sammy for this.. i love ur devices! so much. i had s2,s3 and now i have s4, and i will also buy s5 for sure! i like samsung so much! but please don.t be like apple!!!!!

radulescu21
1 year 9 months ago

Ok…so business men that travel and use the Note line, or any of the top Samsung’s have to buy another phone and sim in every country they travel?
Am I getting this right?
Also, why do this to the S3 and Note2 which A LOT of people already own them with different sim\country? Do the garbage men need free broken Samsung’s? Is Samsung in need of spare parts from the many broken thrown away devices?
Come on…this can’t be real!

radulescu21
1 year 9 months ago

They are called mobile phones…M O B I L E! Get it?
What’s next? Buy a high end Samsung that only works inside you own house?
Oh, and also get’s dumped and receives stupid and late updates after one year of lifetime. And I repeat…high end Samsung device..

wonderham
1 year 9 months ago

Well, i traveling alot, with this lock would my S4 getting useless. Well, Samsung s**k so hard. Selling bad devices too. The S4 still choppy sometimes, Scrolling not smooth and that tearing for a flagship device for this Price is inacceptable! Keep going Samsung u will be the next Nokia ….

viettien39
1 year 9 months ago

samsung if this policy continues, the future sales will slip significantly reduced due to the user and they will be hard to find another one to replace equipment

mvassu
1 year 9 months ago

One of the big cheater samsung useless fellow waste fellow big theft in the world am note 2 user i today i sold my phone bring the king of mobile nokia i’l bought it bye bye

basefahim
1 year 9 months ago

این سامسونگ هم داره با کاربراش بازی میکنه و این درست نیست .

WhatsThePoint
1 year 9 months ago

Samsung should address why grey market imports can be profitable in the EU and US.

Could it be that authorized domestic phone suppliers are ripping people off?

There’s no sim card lock problem here 0n Asian Note III.

eHoolie
1 year 9 months ago

This could lead to legal issues for Samsung I’m guessing.
Selling a product as “unlocked” then turning 180 and saying “just kidding”. And as in earlier posts, lose a lot of their customer base.

 
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