SamMobile has affiliate and sponsored partnerships. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Samsung’s Regional SIM-Lock: The Stupidest Thing Ever?


Last updated: September 27th, 2013 at 01:32 UTC+02:00

Recently, some very bad news broke from which purported that the European Galaxy Note 3 will not work with non-European SIM cards. Since then we’ve heard from a statement issued to that this regional lock will effect almost all newly manufactured modern Samsung devices: Samsung GALAXY S III, II, GALAXY Note, GALAXY S4, S4 GALAXY mini and the GALAXY Note 3.

Galaxy Note 3 Regional SIM Lock

I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that this is not only ridiculous, but potentially suicidal for Samsung. The Galaxy Note 3 is set up to work perfectly well with the whole spectrum of modern mobile frequencies so what on earth can Samsung hope to gain by doing this?

Do they expect people who enjoy travel, or who have to travel for business (one of Samsung’s key audiences when launching the Note range) to purchase a new phone for every area they travel to? Are Samsung really so skint that they have to bow to the will of network providers who want to make extra money from roaming charges? I fail to see how Samsung would benefit from that at all, apart perhaps from with their own “AnyCall” network in South Korea. Last time I checked, however, they were doing pretty damned well on the money side of things so surely, this can’t be the reason?

Well, fortunately this doesn’t seem to be the case. A small glimmer of hope shines on the horizon from Samsung Switzerland. They made a statement on their Facebook page that you only need to activate the device with a regional SIM card, and then you can use it anywhere else in the world. However, they since backtracked somewhat and given a more vague answer… we’ll update as soon as we know more.


“When you purchase the GALAXY Note 3 you must initially use a Swiss SIM card. After that, SIM cards from other operators from Europe and outside of Europe can be used.”

It also transpires, from an official statement from Samsung Germany, that you can activate your Galaxy device at a Samsung partner even if you are using it outside the specified region. For free.


Could it be that Samsung is trying to discourage different ‘versions’ of the same device being exported and enjoyed around the world? This must be ever so frustrating from them, right? It’s certainly true that some people are making a little bit of money by exporting a superior version of the same device while Samsung distribute watered down versions of the ‘same device’ everywhere else …hmm…..? Well, I’ve got a much better solution for you, Samsung: stop making different versions!! Even an attempt to stop the distribution of grey-imports which seek to profit from global price differences seems futile here – as all the exporter has to do is stick a local SIM-card in before shipping the device, or even simply provide a free-SIM card along with it.

All that can be achieved by this is disgruntled, alienated and confused customers. Large companies should not tell people what they can and can’t do with a device they’ve invested a small fortune in, and absolutely *never* force them to have to abide to their rules. I’ve been impressed Samsung’s attempts to push boundaries with their technology and to keep customers wowed and impressed. Sure, I’ve had my quibbles with the way a few things have been done; but at the end of the day it’s hard not to be impressed with the Galaxy range and what it has achieved for both mobile hardware and software. Please Samsung… don’t give people reasons not to buy things from you. This move is stupid… it’s not doing you or your customers any favours. Nothing positive will be gained from this choice and I’m sure I’m not the only one hoping that this is just a bad dream I am about to wake up from!

 What do you all think? Are you angry about this, happy [shame on you!] or confused? Let us know in the comments below.

Opinion EUGalaxy NoteGalaxy Note IIILockNote 3RegionRegionalSamsungSIM card lockSim Lock
Load 20 comments

You might also like

Is Samsung and Google’s marriage of convenience under pressure?

It often feels that Samsung and Google have a marriage of convenience. The latter is the owner of the Android platform and obviously wants to have full control over the future of the platform. Samsung is the largest vendor of Android-powered smartphones and it has its own vision for smartphone software. However, both have been […]

  • By Danny Dorresteijn
  • 4 weeks ago

Samsung shouldn’t have rushed into cancelling the Galaxy Note series

It’s no secret that the Galaxy Note series has long been a cash cow for the company. The lineup has built up a loyal fan base across the globe. Other Samsung flagships may have had their fans, but none commanded the kind of loyalty that this series did. There was a very good reason for […]

  • By Danny Dorresteijn
  • 2 months ago

Samsung to use more LG batteries in its low-end and premium phones

Samsung may have driven LG out of the smartphone market, but it’s more than happy to source components from LG’s battery division for its own smartphones. A new report out of South Korea claims that Samsung is looking to source more batteries from its historic rival. The company is reportedly willing to use LG batteries […]

  • By Adnan Farooqui
  • 4 months ago

Samsung and Apple jointly hold 60% of global tablet market share

According to the latest report by market research firm Strategy Analytics, Samsung and Apple jointly hold 60% of the global tablet market share. Samsung led the Android tablet market with 8.2 million units in Q1 2022, suffering only a 1.2% decline compared to the same period last year. However, Samsung saw its market share increase […]

  • By Sagar Naresh
  • 5 months ago

New WhatsApp update adds extra layer of privacy to chats

The latest WhatsApp update for Android and iOS adds another layer of privacy for disappearing chats. Media sent in chats with disappearing messages enabled will not be saved on the phone’s gallery by default (via WABetainfo). Essentially, anyone trying to view media contained in a disappearing chat outside of WhatsApp will be unable to do […]

  • By Anil Ganti
  • 6 months ago

WhatsApp voice messaging is about to get a whole lot better

On Wednesday, WhatsApp announced that it is bringing a bunch of new features to voice messages. These features will make it easier for users to make use of voice messages and communicate with their contacts on WhatsApp. Notably, the company is introducing six major improvements to voice messaging support, aimed at making the overall voice […]

  • By Sagar Naresh
  • 6 months ago