Recently, some very bad news broke from Clove.co.uk 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 AllAboutSamsung.de 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.
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.