Samsung issues yet another statement to clarify its regional lock policy

Right when we had almost pushed Samsung’s regional lock policy – which debuted on the Galaxy Note 3 – out of our minds, we’re getting a nice little refresher that will keep it haunting us for some time to come. Yes, Samsung isn’t backing down and throwing the whole practice of regional locking down the drain. But as a result of all the confusion it has created ever since it was discovered, Samsung has released an official document explaining how the region lock policy works, as an answer to the negative feedback the Note 3 received on Amazon.

The explanation is the same as before – the region lock basically means that if you buy a device from a country in the European region, the first SIM that is used on the device must be from a carrier/operator in one of the countries from the same region. Once the device is powered on with such a SIM, it will work any SIM card anywhere in the world. Also, since this is something that wasn’t working properly for some users, Samsung says that they’ve improved the whole process so that it works better in the near future.

Every Samsung device that comes with or gets an update to Android 4.3 will have the region lock in place, which means older devices like the Galaxy S3, S4, and S4 mini will have this “protection” after they’re updated to Android 4.3. Yes, the evil that has plagued customers since the launch of the Galaxy Note 3 will continue to exist, but it’s great that Samsung is taking the time to at least make things clearer and be transparent with consumers. Something is better than nothing, right?

Here’s the translated statement, with the original text (in German) available at the source link.

Statement to simplify the “Regional Lock” at current Samsung products
Samsung has implemented regional SIM lock feature in current device to your respective region to provide customers the best possible mobile experience and customer service to the different needs in different regions to adapt.

Samsung the feedback of its customers has taken to heart and improves the activation of regional SIM lock and simplified. The first activation of a device with regional SIM lock feature should be used with a SIM card from a provider from the European region. A device from the Europe region * is immediately ready when dialing the SIM card from the Europe region in a network within the European region and is used to make phone calls as normal. In practice this means that customers in Germany have the phone with a SIM card of a provider from the European region after the first use of your device only five minutes in the German mobile network to deactivate the regional SIM lock feature. It does not matter if the usage time of five minutes is achieved actively or passively as a caller callee. Then, the regional SIM Lock is permanently disabled. The new solution is part of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update that note 3 is already available for the Samsung GALAXY. More updates for the Samsung Galaxy S4, S4 mini, S III and Mark II will be available in the coming weeks via FOTA system update (Firmware Over The Air). If a user device to be from the Europe region with a SIM card from a provider who is not from the Europe, in operation and the device does not accept a SIM card, he can unlock his device from Samsung Customer Service.

If customer questions regarding the “regional lock” function of their product, they can contact customer service.

Samsung Customer Service can be reached by phone: 0180 667 267 864 (* 0,20 € / call from a landline and a maximum of 0,60 € / call from a mobile phone, from the International delivery service hours: Monday to Friday: 08:00. -20:00 clock, Saturday: 09:00-17:00 clock) or at: * To Region Europe include
countries of the European Economic Area (EEA) :

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania , Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, UK, Switzerland, Croatia
Albania, Andorra, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, San Marino, Serbia, Vatican City

Via | Source (PDF)

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2 years 10 months ago

Hi all, I just spoke to the technical support team for Samsung UK.
My issue: I bought an unlocked note 2 in Dec 2012. Used 2 different UK sims with no probs. Went to Morocco and then Dubai on holidays and found that I cant use a foreign sim in it.
Their response: To make it region unlocked, i have to use a UK sim in it when I go to Dubai and make a 10 minute call to a UK number. This will unolock it. I double checked with their senior manager.
Is this right? are they just taking the piss?

3 years 1 month ago

Samsung, why are you inventing so much? Millions of people incrinsegly traveling across the world depending on communications, and The Company’s greed messing with consumers pocket? Be careful. Consumers are higly sensitive and Sony and mainly LG are taking important steps – LG G2 is now leading technology. Even google might change their minds if they feel that The Comapany is getting greedy and menacing their image…its not fair and not legal. I bought a s4 and there was no statement concerning restritions using it worldwide.

jorgen larsson
3 years 2 months ago

Shame on you Samsung,,, realy bad thig to do.
i was just in Asia here Hongkong and i used my home sim a lont time in Sweden were i live,, i did buy a local sim and put in and my Note 2 lockt up…

Any one here like to buy my samsung tv? my samsung 7,1 sound system laptop and phone?
it all is 4 sale now and NEVER gonna use it this brand again, is it apple time or LG?

3 years 2 months ago

Same but will try Huawei, hisense or similar. Big companys bad service. Nerver more locked samsung devices

3 years 4 months ago

As the Company can see in this forum and others, the new Samsung regional lock policy is a “success”. Why they made this enormous mistake I don’t know but it seems that someone should be dismissed in Samsung. If this new policy is the result of the apple’s battle, it is clear that apple won.
As user my simple recommendation is: change this policy before it’s too late.

3 years 5 months ago

I recently bought a note 3, and this will be my last purchase of a Samsung product, because of this strange restriction called “regional lock”

3 years 5 months ago

So now, as I had galaxy note 2 for 6 month’s, After so long waited update I won’t be able to use it?
Well, SAMSUNG why didn’t you warn people a year ago that you plan to lock their devices, and kept selling them. By the way that is how you actually sold most of your сellphones using gray market.
How will you explain what ur doing, except that that is ur marketing plan, to force people buy newer devices. I mean is it even fair? I want my money back SAMSUNG. Otherwise where should I put my galaxy note 2? Up in my ass?

3 years 5 months ago

Samsung won’t listen until their sales drop. I responded with a new LG G2 instead of Note3.

3 years 5 months ago

They make their policy clear alright…

A big ‘NO’ to customers!

well its a bigger no to any samsung device ever from me…

3 years 5 months ago

That is lame, the whole thing is lame, i have the first note, was waiting to get the note 3, sorry samsung no matter what this is not acceptable, i moved to SONY yes, love it, in fact if i did not try it i would not know that sony Z1 is so good, i am pleased with what happened.
my sister have the S4, she stopped upgrading to V4.3 yes to hell with it, next i am sure will go to another brand.
who loses…. not me, i have got my money i buy what i want.

3 years 5 months ago

How will they check the first SIM card for the updated devices? Or after update everyone should visit the country the gadget was bought?
No, Samsung, can’t accept your invitation to win a ticket to Sochi byuing Note 3.

3 years 5 months ago

Samsung, stop inconveniencing your customers with stupid locks that the short sighted share holders believe will add some protection to future profits. This, on top of buggy updates and poor customer service, shame on you.

3 years 5 months ago

To my dismay, this confirms that I will not get my hands on the snapdragon variant of the Note 3.

Since am not willing to own another Exynos powered device, this is it for me and Samsung. Am just one person so Sammy won’t miss my $800. Make that $1600 as I had my eye on the Note 2014 tablet.

3 years 5 months ago

At this point Samsung it’s aware that the region lock policy is a total failure, neither stopped the gray market, only take away customers, the best thing to do it’s to totally remove that lock policy and the software behind, saves time, money and troubles to every part.