Update 2: Samsung has clarified the issue to Android Central, and it turns out it's actually not all that bad. Here's the gist: if you buy a Galaxy Note 3 (or other region-locked Samsung phone), it must be activated with a SIM in its home region. That means you can't import a Note 3 from Taiwan and then activate it in Europe, for example, and if you try to do that, it will lock itself. If that happens, you can go to a Samsung service center (if such a thing exists) and they will unlock the device for you, free of charge, so that you can then use it.

If you buy a device and activate it in its home region, the region lock is permanently disabled. You can then roam or use other nations' SIM cards anywhere in the world.

The region lock is, as we suspected, designed to thwart phone importers who buy phones from one region of the world and then sell them in another. The region lock will, of course, adversely affect individuals who end up trying to activate a locked phone for the first time outside of its home region (they're bound to get sold online anyway), so it's something to be aware of. But if you're buying your Note 3 through a legitimate channel and then activating it shortly thereafter in the same region, you should be fine.

Update: According to many users on XDA, this isn't a typical SIM lock, and uses an MCC-based (Mobile Country Code) lock that will not be disabled using a standard network-based SIM unlock code. The bit doing the locking lives inside the CSC (Consumer Software Customization) package in an MCC whitelist, specifying which country codes the device can be used in based on what regional software variant it is. Modifying the CSC without doing warranty-voiding kind of stuff is also apparently very, very tricky.

It's entirely possible a community workaround will emerge, but for now, this basically means that even with a SIM unlock code, phones with this new locking procedure won't function with a SIM that has an MCC outside of the device's home region. This is substantially more burdensome for consumers, and is definitely going to be a pain to deal with.

There's been a rather widespread discovery, mostly made by Note 3 buyers, that Samsung has started adorning the boxes of its devices with a new sticker - and that sticker has some bad news. As part of what is apparently a new policy for the company, a number of popular Samsung phones will be SIM-locked to the region in which they are sold. This has been confirmed by many a XDA poster with images of the stickers on devices purchased in the Americas and Europe, though the practice probably extends to other regions, as well. UK retailer Clove was the first to really publicize the news, yesterday.

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Images via XDA

Samsung Germany issued a statement on the matter, which has provided some information on the practice, though does not elaborate as to why phones are now being geographically SIM-locked. You can see that statement here, though if you don't speak German, Google Translate will be necessary. Here are the takeaways, however.

  • The new policy, at this point, applies to Galaxy S III, S II, Note, S4, S4 Mini, and Note 3 devices produced after the end of July 2013.
  • All regionally locked devices will have a sticker on the box indicating as much.
  • The regional locks cover large geographic areas (eg., a Note 3 purchased in Europe will work throughout the European Economic Area, and multiple non-EU countries / principalities, but not in, say, Africa or Asia).
  • If a phone is purchased in one region but never activated with a SIM in that region, it can be unlocked free of charge outside of that region by a "Samsung service partner" wherever it ends up.

At this point, the two zones we are aware of are the Americas and Europe. The European lock extends to the following regions (meaning, you can use your European region-locked phone in any of these countries):

  • 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

The Americas zone is less clear, but on the box it says "The North, South, and Central Americas and the Caribbean," which should mean pretty much any country encompassed by that statement (but that does not mean US carrier phones will work anywhere in the Americas - they're still carrier locked). Phones purchased in the Americas will not accept a European SIM, or an Asian SIM, and the same is going to be true in reverse for other regions - your Samsung phone is limited to service in the region in which it was purchased.

How much of a nuisance is this? Well, if you're tech-savvy enough, it's probably not the end of the world. Phone unlocking services have been around on the web for a long time now, and it seems Samsung's just given them a big boost in business. Most of these services simply require your IMEI and device model number, and of course a bit of your hard-earned cash, and then email you a SIM unlock code to be used when you put in an unauthorized SIM. Enter the code, and the phone is unlocked forever. Update: See update at top - this probably isn't true, it's worse.

For the less curious, this will mean more roaming bills to rack up - music to the ears of carriers the world over.

But why has Samsung even engaged in this practice? Is there anything to be gained? Possibly. This may be a shot at phone importers / exporters and the retailers who sell imported devices. The phone import / export business lives and dies on things like favorable currency exchange rates, regional pricing / release date variations, and localized hardware shortages. Samsung is taking in the reins on its supply line here by making it a significantly more difficult process to import phones from, say, Asia, and then sell them in Europe or the US. At the least, a retailer would have to go through every single device it sells and generate a SIM unlock code to include with the shipment or email it to the customer - tedious, to be sure. Edit: Sounds like they won't even be able to do that.

Anyway, Samsung makes more money when it has tight control of which devices end up on sale where and for how much, rather than letting exporters buy phones cheaply in one region only to ship them overseas to another where they're in demand and sold at a higher price. This practice also skews logistics figures, and can cause customer confusion in regard to warranties and software support

We'll update this post if we learn more.

AllAboutSamsung, XDA, Clove

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • basteagow

    It's like DVD drives all over again.

    • IHateDisqus

      And Nintendo devices.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      Admittedly, this is much easier to get around. It just costs money (usually) to do it.

      • Derek Duncan

        you can easily just do an online chat with your carrier (AT&T for instance) and they will give you the unlock code for free.

        • blumpkinator

          that only applies if the device was purchased from a carrier.

          This article is referring to unbranded phones sold on the open market. They are not carrier locked, they are just locked to only accepting sim cards from a particular market. EX, you can use the Americas model on AT&T, TMO or take it down to mexico and use telcel or up to canada and use rogers, but you could NOT take it to europe and use it on vodafone etc without fully unlocking it.

          • http://randomphantasmagoria.com/ Shawn

            Correct. If you went to Europe, you'd have to leave your AT&T or TMO SIM card in it and pay your home carrier ridiculous international roaming rates.

          • Derek Duncan

            No No. You cannot buy an UNLOCKED Galaxy phone from any US carrier anyway. So what you would be buying IS a carrier branded phone that you could get unlocked.

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

            This is correct. I think some people in the US confuse "buying outright" with "unlocked." They are not one and the same. Paying $650 for your phone only frees you from a contract, not the carrier SIM locking. It's always been that way.

          • blumkinator

            exactly, which is why you should NEVER BUY A PHONE FROM A CARRIER! Fuck carriers! They are there to provide a pipe to the internet and PSTN not to be device vendors! Buy your devices online and unlocked! I also recommend prepaid/mvno for savings on your monthly service with your device.

            Buying a device from a carrier makes as much sense as buying a computer from an ISP...

          • icyhotonmynuts

            I bought my Note 2 from At&t and unlocked it (the # dialer method) and used it in Canada. Then loaded an international ROM on it. I saved $450 this route. If I would have bought an international unlocked Note 2 I would have paid an extra $200, plus shipping and other taxes.

            It's all about shopping around - something the average consumer is not willing to do.

          • blumpkinator

            could have saved even more buying that ATT branded note 2 USED online vs new from ATT...

            The $450 savings claim vs international seems dubious, as even when devices are first released it's $600-800 for international versions and $600 from an american carrier.

            Sounds like your tossing some kind of contract "subsidy" nonsense in there. Being contractually obligated to over-pay for monthly service and getting a lower up front cost on the hardware does not equal a savings.

          • icyhotonmynuts

            "could have saved even more buying that ATT branded note 2 USED online vs new from ATT..."

            I should have specified - I didn't buy it FROM AT&T I bought it from a guy I met online, that we met at the AT&T store. He got the upgrade in store, I gave him my money, he gave me the phone. I gave him $250 - hence the "I saved $450 this route" ($250+$450 = $700 (how much the Note II cost in Canada at the time I bought the Note II, not including taxes)).

            The extra $200 number I pulled out of my my head, guestimating how much taxes/duties and shipping fees would be buying a truly international model from an international seller.

            The rest of your argument is invalid as you didn't have all the pieces of the pie. There was no contract/subsidy involved. Just straight up cash for phone (in store, so to make sure it wasn't "lost" or stolen).

          • http://pharaohtechblog.blogspot.com/ Conan Kudo (ニール・ゴンパ)

            This is false. Verizon sells all its phones that support GSM/UMTS/LTE SIM unlocked due to regulatory requirements (though that doesn't make them necessarily compatible with US networks). And T-Mobile's Nexus 4 is sold SIM unlocked, too. So yes, you CAN buy unlocked phones at carrier stores.

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

            Those are exceptions to the rule, as you well know.

          • Chahk Noir

            Google Play edition phones are not SIM-locked.

          • Gagan Mohal

            you are right. same here in canada. Only unlocked phone available is iPhone from apple store

        • icyhotonmynuts

          Might want to specify that this is a feature available to US residents. Folks in Canada pay a ridiculous $50 or have to battle with their carrier for it to be done. Or find a third party to do it.

      • Eli Staroverov

        It's my understanding that this is not carrier locking it's region locking. So if I get the U.S. Note 3 on T-mobile and after a few months get it unlocked by my carrier I can put in an AT&T sim and everything is good, but if I take it to Europe even unlocked I won't be able to put in a prepaid sim while traveling or whatnot. So I don't know how money will help get around this

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

          This does not apply to the US. US Samsung smartphones always have been single carrier locked. This has nothing to do with the US, at all, whatsoever.

          And no, it's still just SIM locking.

          • ins0mn1a

            i don't understand what you mean by "this has nothing to do with the US", if even after carrier unlock (easy to acquire, in my experience you just ask) there is an additional nuisance of region lock.

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

            Yeah, I wasn't aware there was a technical difference here. Looking into it further.

          • icyhotonmynuts

            Actually read the article, they make it quite clear.

          • http://blog.ravrahn.net/ Owen Cassidy

            He did a bit more than read it, he wrote it.

          • icyhotonmynuts

            Then he must have just slapped his name on it, because I read the article and it said North / South / Central America count as a region, then he goes onto saying that the US Samsung smartphones are unaffected. Last I checked the United States of America was in North America.

            "This has been confirmed by many a XDA poster with images of the stickers on devices purchased in the Americas and Europe"

            So now that 11 days have gone by.. anybody find out if the US phones are region locked as well as carrier locked? Or is it just carrier locked? I could see Samsung putting a region lock on top of a carrier lock.

          • Ultramag69

            Bullsh*t... What makes you think that....
            Samsung are doing it to the rest of the world, what makes you think the US is safe?

    • John O’Connor

      And they call this "globalization??" HA

  • Ivan

    This muthaf*ckers are more cheap and nasty than Apple even...!

  • power_pizza

    Google better jack up their shipment from LG. Looks like we're all getting Nexus devices.

    • http://robert.aitchison.org raitchison

      Still not getting a nexus device unless they come out with one with both a replaceable battery (doesn't seem likely) and expandable storage (really unlikely)

      • Mystery Man

        How about just a Nexus with decent battery life?

        • http://robert.aitchison.org raitchison

          Even if the battery life is sufficient (I expect 2 days out of a battery) when the phone is brand new it won't be after a year and a couple hundred charge/discharge cycles.

          • Garry

            luckily devices like the nexus 4 can have their battery serviced very easily, and there are plenty of guides on the good ole' interwebz on how to. So in xx months/years should you want to revitalize your phone, it's not a big deal, even if the battery is "internal". Note that this doesn't apply to devices like the HTC one where repair or disassembly is nigh impossible.

          • M0nk

            try outside US... If you travel a lot like me overseas you would know that 20hs of battery is not enough to get to Australia or Europe... I have a Galaxy Note with 3 batteries and a custom ROM that gives me 24hs battery and 5hs screen on time per battery...

        • Nick

          You mean 90 minutes of screen on time isn't enough?

          • dude

            Fortunately I get 4 hours screen time with my Nexus 4 easily, with activities.

          • papernick


        • http://GPlus.to/Abhisshack Abhisshack

          Why do people hates Expandable storage with that much passion !!!!

          • http://robert.aitchison.org raitchison

            It's fanboy logic, Google says they don't like expandable storage so they don't either.

          • http://GPlus.to/Abhisshack Abhisshack

            I'm also a Google Fanboy but i never act like iSheep that's the characteristic of iSheep !!!!!

      • ArberBeq

        very few people need a replaceable battery & expandable storage now adays. I have a 16gb storage & 32gb microsd on my note and I'm only using 5gb of internal and like 500mb of the microsd.

        • http://robert.aitchison.org raitchison

          I spend quite a lot of time in places where there is spotty (at best) cell coverage and I like to listen to music (while riding my motorcycle) and even if I had coverage everywhere I went if I tried to stream everything I'd blow through my data allotment in short order.

          Likewise if I'm taking pictures with my camera I want to be sure I can get those pictures off the phone if something happens to it between the time I take the photo and I am in a place where those photos can be backed up to the cloud. Especially since I got my S4 I've had to turn off cloud backup over my data connection (only backs up over WiFi now) because it was using too much data thanks to the high resolution images.

        • rob3211

          Just because you don't doesnt mean its very few. I thought the same thing. but, now samsungs software take up close to 8GB. Leaving 8GB for the user which is nothing with 13mp pictures and 1080p video.

          Nexus Phones are lighter on software but you get the point. If someone has a small music collection and pictures with only say 5 videos on their device storage is maxed pretty much. 32gb phones or SD need to be the norm.

        • Shadab

          I have 64 GB card and with 25 GB stuff + 8 GB stuff in internal. I mostly don't use streaming hence better battery life and use the lowest available data plan.

        • John Smith

          bull***t - after two years a Lithium-Ion battery becomes noticeably less able to maintain a decent charge. As for storage - I have a 64gb class 10 card in my S4 and it's AWESOME for movies and music.

      • inzandity

        Removable storage will never show up in the Nexus lineup. Google has made it clear that SD cards cause all types of problems not seen when using only internal storage. Samsung, LG, etc. all add the removable storage option to not only their hardware, but their software too. On a straight AOSP build, you can't even find the option to save to SD card (look at camera for instance).

        • Chahk Noir

          If Google hates SD Cards so much, why then are they not bothering to release handsets with over 16GB of internal storage? I'd gladly pay the $25 (overpriced) premium for a 64GB Nexus phone, but the option is simply not there.

          • dude

            Because they want you to use their cloud services. Duh.

          • Chahk Noir

            I would love to use their cloud services, but my monthly 2GB allotment from AT&T won't let me. Not to mention that 90% of my travel happens in subways, underground, with no signal at all.

          • saltyzip

            With Google Music, Books, Magz etc. you keep everything in the cloud, but just sync what you need to your phone, before you need it. Even using Plex (plexpass) I sync TV shows to the phone before I leave home, so I don't need to worry about a signal when I want to watch a show on my commute. For my usage the Nexus 4 16GB is brilliant, love the phone, I don't need an SD Card to keep everything with me, just need enough in-built storage to keep me entertained.

          • John O’Connor

            and there is the rub. if we are removing external storage, we need more on device storage which we don't seem to be getting just yet. Google music, books, mags, movies, tv, etc used to let you store the cached data on your sd card, now it does not. Most 16gb phones have 11gb or less in user accessible storage. so using just google's products and taking pictures you can easily eat up that space. Play music is currently caching 3.8gb on my device

          • http://robert.aitchison.org raitchison

            Sou you're saying when I go on a motorcycle ride I delete all my videos and sync my music, then when I take a flight I delete most of my music so I can sync my movies? That sure sounds convenient.

          • saltyzip

            It's all about managing what you have. I only sync one or two albums on my phone. If you watch lots of movies or TV shows maybe think about getting a tablet like the nexus 7 with 32GB for that purpose.

          • eric d

            If I wanted to have to sync all the time, I'd get an iphone... I want my stuff accessible to me at all times, and the bottom line is, the cloud can't do that. I don;t have time to worry about syncing the music or other media I want for the day. I just want it there whenever I need it, so the nexus 5 better have a least a 32GB option or it's not gonna be on my list...

          • Josh Legoza

            $25?! HA Clearly you don't work in sales at a phone manufacturer. You're too reasonable for that. Its usually $50 to upgrade from 16GB to 32GB. Then another $50 to go to 64GB. Yes, $25 is certainly overpriced, but nothing near as overpriced as the manufacturer's reality. I would literally shit myself if the next Nexus phone is $300 for $16GB and $325 for 64GB. And I wouldn't even complain about the smell.

        • http://robert.aitchison.org raitchison

          I've never quite bought the whole "sd cards cause problems" line from Google, it used to work just fine and even the first official Nexus phone (the Nexus One) had it but it really seems like they are (rather transparently) trying to force people to use the cloud. And trust me, I'm all about the cloud but as I mention below I'm regularly in areas without Internet access and I don't have unlimited data so the cloud is not a perfect solution.

          As for the AOSP camera, the fact that they commented out the lines of code that enabled selecting the storage location is hardly a compelling argument.

          • marcusmaximus04

            "it used to work just fine and even the first official Nexus phone (the Nexus One) had it "

            It worked on the Nexus One because there *was no internal storage*. At least not any a normal user could access. It was all OS and app storage space. So you had internal storage users couldn't use anyway and an SD card.

            Now you have a (much bigger) internal storage that freely divides up its space between user-accessible space and OS/app space. It wasn't that SD cards magically stopped working, it's that phones back then didn't have the internal space at all.

          • icyhotonmynuts

            "Much bigger"

            Like the Nexus 4's 8gb model? Lol

          • marcusmaximus04

            Yes, actually. Exactly like that. 8GB is 16x the internal storage of the nexus one.

          • icyhotonmynuts

            But about only half of the 8gb is actually usable by the consumer, so your "16x" is only about "8x".

          • marcusmaximus04

            But in the Nexus one only 190MB of the internal memory is actually usable by the consumer (sort of usable, app storage only), so your "8x" is about "43x".

          • Damak9

            Funny how my old S2 doesn't have this problem. It has 16 gb internal +32 gb sd card. Apps and games go on the internal storage, while music, camera clips and photos + my own stuff go on the SD card. Never had a single problem, running stock 4.1.2

          • marcusmaximus04

            Right, the problem with that is a different one. Obviously I don't know you or how tech savvy you are. But depending on that, how sure are you that your music et al is actually on your SD card? Because modern phones solve the problem by labeling both user accessible internal memory and SD card space as SD card(in slightly different mount points).

            Which is exactly why Google moved away from that. Lots of people were confused about what was going where.

          • Damak9

            How I know my music is actually on my SD card? its on /storage/extSdCard pretty self-explanatory I think....

            If you connect a phone with both internal and external SD to any computer running modern OS, you will get two drive letters, separate for each storage.

        • Mircury119

          I think google's line about SD cards is a bunch of BS. If they support USB drives through an OTG adapter they should support SD cards in the same way. Sure, don't let apps store stuff on the SD card if they want but at least let us move stuff around to them like movies, pictures ....

          • dude

            Nope, the Nexus 4 doesn't officially support OTG (not internally powered OTG anyway, and even then it required root tweaking.)

          • David Anderton

            Correct, but it was 'supposed' to support OTG and was a feature pulled at the last minute due to manufacture issues.

          • David Anderton

            I agree 100%. The reason I believe is that they want to push google drive and cloud based storage. Google doesn't make money if your not connected to the net so I'm sure any chance they get to require people to be online they will push for it.

      • RXG9

        this this this, removable battery is a must! how come Samsung is the only company to do this? (Besides some LG Korean phones.)

      • Ray

        Replaceable battery or expandable storage don't bother me. What really annoys me is that they don't offer 32Gb (at least/minumin) and 64Gb variants especially considering they don't have expandable storage.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

    Just to clarify, in case I'm misreading...if you bought, say, a Galaxy S III before July 2013 in the US and you wanted to travel overseas (or vice versa), you could swap out SIMs for a different carrier while you're over there to save money (bands permitting), but the same handset made after 2013 cannot do this?

    If that's really the case, that's ungodly shitty, no matter what Samsung's reasoning is.

    • Ivan

      Yes this is the case :-))) You pay for roaming a lot of money :-))) F*ck Samsung :-)

    • http://blog.artesea.co.uk/ artesea

      It's all software based GS4 users reporting that their updated firmware included this "feature", so nothing stopping old GS3s from having the same done. Fortunately for me I have zero plans to leave tge UK let alone Europe.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

        Well, Samsung's the one who chose to draw the line in the sand at July 2013. Whether it's a software or hardware reason, I don't know or care. My only concern is the difference in ability on the part of the end user. In any case, unless I'm misunderstanding, I'm not a fan of this idea.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      No. American Samsung phones have always been single-carrier locked. This whole thing doesn't apply to the US, we've been getting screwed substantially harder for quite some time now, and shall continue to get screwed for the foreseeable future.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

        For phones bought inside the store, yes. But unlocked versions are sold to US residents, right? That's kind of what I'm getting at. I'm admittedly unclear on how that works, but what I want to know is if you buy an unlocked phone (or if a European user buys a phone however they do), if it will still somehow be locked for people who go to a different region. I'd certainly expect that a locked phone would be locked.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

          No, they aren't, not through any official channel. If you buy online from someone like Negri or Basatne or a Amazon 3rd party retailer, then yes, you can get an unlocked Samsung phone, but it's not an American phone. They're usually Canadian models.

          But yes, that Canadian phone would be locked to the North / South America region unless you acquired an unlock code. And thus, if you went to Europe, it wouldn't work. But getting an unlock code is totally possible, and your respective operator may even give you one if you ask.

          • http://pharaohtechblog.blogspot.com/ Conan Kudo (ニール・ゴンパ)

            The problem is that an unlock code won't fix it. These are for unlocked phones. There's a separate program somewhere that has a list of MCCs for the PLMN ID that are valid for the device and blocks all others. Think of it like how Sprint locks out its world phones so that GSM/UMTS doesn't work on US operators, even with SIM unlock.

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

            Yeah, I'm seeing that now. Major bummer.

          • asfa

            All verizon 4g phones come unlocked, you just swap out the sim card and off you go, no unlock code necesary. I can do it with my SGS3. It seems it will not work this way now.

      • NotTheTodd

        Except for those that buy unlocked phones today...

        • Tim242

          Buying an unlocked phone !=! to buying an international model.

          • mechapathy

            !=! = =

          • Tim242

            Not even a guess of what that is haha

          • Morten Ulveseth

            !=! equals =

          • Blind Freddy

            Nah! !=! = =!!

          • Blind Freddy

            No. We have just bnought an unlocked Note. IT will accept Aust sims from any provider, but as soon as it went overseas, unactivated here (we bought this for my wife to travel with and were not aware of this) it is locked in any otrher region.

      • Mike Reid

        But isn't this much worse than normal SIM locking ?

      • Blind Freddy

        Carrier locking is different from region locking, surely. Doesn't carrier locking have to do with getting a better deal on the the device, because you are locked in to the plan from a carrier. These are outright purchased devices that will allow any carrier, provided you are still in the region of purchase.

    • QwietStorm

      Seriously, that's even worse than the carrier situation/control.

    • Alexei Watson

      In Australia, pretty much any O/S travel is to a different region - and pretty much everyone travelling will pick up a local sim when we get there. The Australian telco's charge a phenomenal amount for data roaming (Telstra currently at AU$15 per MB).

      I'll make sure that everyone I know getting a phone, will know that if they plan to leave the country, Samsung is not their friend.

  • fabriflash

    And this is why Apple has such a big part of the mobile market with only one device. They only have ONE device and it works worldwide. No carrier editions, no hardware diferences between countries

    • Derek Duncan

      Dude, you are wrong here. Apple sells MANY different versions of their iPhone that are each locked to a specific carrier.

      • mrjayviper

        in apple's defence though, phone bought outright are unlocked (at least here in Australia) and can be used on any GSM carrier all over the world.

        Seems this Samsung restriction involved phones bought outright as well as the article was talking about clove/handtec. 2 companies famous for their preorder service of new phones.

        • Carmen Leung

          I rather get an iphone than a samsung at this rate.

    • Ivan

      You are wrong dude.... Some are locked to the carrier :-)

      • kindrudekid

        maybe for CDMA and GSM or to comply with reginal standards

    • Daniel Smith

      Apple has multiple devices. The iPhone 5 has 4 versions.

    • blumkinator

      WRONG! Apple does indeed have different SKU for different regions/carriers. It's motivated by frequency band and the CDMA BS of Sprint/Verizion, rather than being an arbitrary and douche bag move like what samsung is doing..


    • Tim242

      Apple has many devices, with many SKU's. Try taking an unlocked iPhone to Sprint or Verizon.

  • lensgrabber

    Just say NO

  • Daniel Smith

    The European one only needs a European SIM to activate, after that it can be used with any SIM card.

    It seems it's to stop imports, not using a local SIM when roaming.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock


    • blumpkinator

      and what exactly does "activate" mean in this context?

      • Daniel Smith

        Set it up.

        • blumpkinator

          and where exactly in the Android operating system is this activtion step as I have never seen it and I have worked with a lot of devices.

          You can run the initial setup wizard without even having a sim in the phone...

          Your carrier doesn't have any involvement in this process, as they simply provision a sim to provide you service. so the only thing I can think of that comes close to "Activation" would be someone who is a new customer walking into a carrier and being asked to furnish an IMEI number when they start service. Even though of course the IMEI is not of any consequence to the carrier* or the service as the sim is the only thing that matters...

          * short of AT&T not enabling LTE access unless you give them an IMEI that shows up in their database as an LTE device, but that's a political/procedural/billing thing and not a technical limitation.

          • CoreRooted

            It has zero to do with Android and occurs during the initial boot when the SIM is read while the CSC is being initialized.

    • http://blog.artesea.co.uk/ artesea

      When you insert the SIM for the first time Samsung use the network codes to set the language, apns etc. Known as the CSC. It's this area of the software which is locking the phones. There is a chance you could flash an AUS firmware over an EU phone which *hadn't* been used already and it could work fine, just expect problems if you went abroad with the phone and wanted a local SIM.

      • Bleakvision

        Oh yeah the CSC business... remember that from my GS1. They had a different CSC for each carrier on this planet, therefore turning OS updates into a bureaucratic nightmare for themselves. Samsung just has no clue when it comes to software...

  • mechapathy

    Samsung can Samsuck it.

  • http://randomphantasmagoria.com/ Shawn

    I bet carriers worldwide are lining Samsung's pockets with cash in exchange for doing this. Basically what this means is that you can't use a local SIM when you travel. You're forced to keep your home SIM card in and pay your home carrier ridiculous international roaming rates, or buy an "international plan" from your home carrier that still rapes you, but just uses KY jelly before it does.

    I think carriers are becoming savvy to people who travel abroad and just buy local prepaid SIMs for use while they're traveling. They realize they're missing out on a big potential revenue stream.

    • Roh_Mish

      People outside us don't buy overpriced phones with some crazy brandings bloat and locking stuff

    • Mike Reid

      Aha !

      So that's why they're doing this ?

      Always about more money.

  • Willie D

    A policy like this, is similar to Apple and eBooks...It shows a manufacture colluding with multiple carriers for a kickback to prevent customers and consumers from buying a model in one region to use in another. While logically there is nothing wrong with buying a model in one area and moving it to another, the issue comes with the lax SIM unlocking policies in place of many nations where exports of devices that are SIM unlocked standard are becoming less profitable for carriers as the devices are no longer used on their own networks guaranteeing income. What this is doing is forcing customers to no longer have a choice, no longer able to use their phone on a separate network per the GSM standard and no longer able to keep their own costs down by being penalized to pay higher than average roaming rates from their home carrier, all for going on vacation. Economically, for businesses, this could be a disaster, and for Samsung it will definitely lose many millions of customers. I am one of them. After buying a Note 2 with an embedded SIM and paying a roaming rate enforced by my carrier at a rate higher than any other carrier offers from my home country to roam in another specific country, I wanted to upgrade to another device...one that had a removable SIM. Seeing that Samsung is now limiting this even more, and further colluding with my horrible carrier (Sprint) I simply wont buy another Samsung device and have moved to another manufacture that is worthy of my business LG and buy their devices unlocked via the Nexus brand.

    • John O’Connor

      Not to mention that their new flagship note 3, does not support triband LTE (or even dualband) on your horrible carrier, Sprint, as you say.

  • Amit Singh

    Yup. So long Samsung, thanks for all the fish. All this device manufacturer and carrier nonsense has pushed me into the embrace of nexus devices.

    Google Nexus 5, here I come!

    • Tim242

      Yeah, because Nexus devices come with no limitations...yeah, OK.

  • Continuum

    This is sick... corporations must fall! People around the world must unity as one once otherwise it will be too late! Guys watch the tv series Continuum!!!!! great production, that gives a foresight into what is waiting for us if we don't take action

    • icyhotonmynuts

      And... What are you doing about this stand you propose?

      • Continuum

        peaceful revolution in favour of honesty, integrity. My family is the world family. We are the 99%. Bank accounts, and financial details of every one stop being hidden. All in the open for all to check the money going in and out. All products being sold must have real production cost price, plus the selling price (people when start seeing how products really cost and by how much they are being sold, will take other options). Worldwide federation, compose of two senators from the actual countries that are represented (not proportionally to the size or population, all the same 2 only). Members of this federation share all natural resources between all no matter where physically the resources are. Wars for resources/land will end. Why wouldn't a country not want to be part of the federation? Resources belong to all despite where they are located on the globe, for a fair-use between all are alive and consciousness sustainability for the ones to come. Abolition of national borders, all members can roam freely between the federation. This is our planet. Resources are exploited by the federation with fair-use to each citizen, not by corporations that sell them afterwards. Everyone receives house, food, money to have a decent life just by existing. Doesn't have to do anything. Consequently when you don't have to have to survive, you will dedicate your time to accomplish your fulfilment ... as you pursue your dreams. Work time, will be pleasure time, for you will be doing what you love. And you will be doing it for the whole, giving back joyfully. The more hours you work, the more credits you produce. You decide, but your basic is always provided. Human beings are creative, they naturally give back, as this is their way of expressing themselves. Don't mistake this for a NWO- that is based on control, and oppression trying to make all the same. What is being proposed is a society that searches it's uniqueness individually, with all the support to do that. educate by schools such as the woldorf system, which focus on the individuality creative of each pupil and accounts for his personal development time. People will be educate to oversee the government, and this has to do all in the open, no state secretes. People must be responsible for their government! All in the open is the only way, along with share of resources. All problems arise from lack of resources and lies and deceit. We need to unity. Not to lose individuality, regional cultures...that's the beauty of this planet. But We must act as one, for we are one, one species. Our destruction is that we turn against each other trying to impose others to subjective views, not respecting difference, thinking our point of view on clothes, religion, sexuality, race, is better than others. Celebrate variety without playing the victim/aggressor game. Unite, share resources, the basic must be provided to all. If someone is without food somewhere in the global, it's our problem as a whole. If someone turned into a criminal it is our problem as a whole. Why did they had to do that, which fears and insecurities led them to that, where we as society failed to provide guidance, safety and comfort. Our family must be the human family. Even through science we are all one: there's only energy, nothing else. Energy is information. Information of ALL THERE IS, ever been, for energy cannot be created. Information that is aware of itself, hence consciousness. Information experiencing in the physical all it's forms possible, experiencing all information it knows itself to be. We are unity. Steam can lower it;s vibration to water, even further to ice, giving the impression of different physical forms, but it's all steam. Thus we understand all is experience, and we true judgment cannot exist, that's why a develop civilisation is not measured by it's technological development but by how it treats it's fellow citizens.

  • h4rr4r

    Good reason not to buy samsung products I guess.
    Sounds fine to me. Vote with your money folks.

    • ins0mn1a

      that's it, i am never buying another samsung phone. unfortunately i really need the note tablet, but as soon as someone else makes a decent tablet with a stylus, i will jump at it faster than light.

      • h4rr4r

        You do not need it. You could live without.

        • ins0mn1a

          well of course, i *could* live without many things, the question is how much hassle it would take. so i am dumping samsung phones right now, since my phone needs to work everywhere on the planet, and there is zero space for compromise there. and i will scream and shout on top of my lungs about this matter. as for the note tablets, i think samsung deserves some credit for innovating there so i will stick with them for now. i sincerely hope others will catch up with them, but that remains to be seen.

  • Defenestratus

    Well I guess this makes up my mind for me as to whether I wait for the Nexus 5 or get the Note 3.

    I want to be able to use my US-bought phone in Europe jackholes.

  • RL010

    i quess there will be a software tool for it made by a Dev. So the problem will be only for a short time

    • Ultramag69

      Yes, but then there's there's the Knox warranty void problem to contend with that isn't fixable yet. Painful as the new $800 toy I just bought can be fixed to how it should be but at the cost of the warranty....

  • eilegz

    region lock on phones? this its completely retarded, i guess people should avoid samsung at all cost and get another brand...

  • moelsen8

    ridiculous and slimy.

  • ProductFRED

    If anyone is curious how it works:

    Every SIM/Network has two 3-digit identification codes: MCC and MNC. MCC stands for Mobile Country Code. For the US, I believe it's 310. MNC is Mobile Network Code and is unique to each carrier.

    What Samsung has done is implemented nt 2 locks. First they implemented an MNC (normal network lock). But on top of that, they implemented an MCC lock that sticks even after you carrier unlock the phone. By MCC lock I mean they programmed each phone with a white list of MCCs that it can accept (counties it can work in).

    This really is an asshole move. Not even Apple does this (Sprint does this though on all their phones to only make non-US SIMs work). I hope they get called out and reverse it, because I do travel quite a bit and I do use local SIMs. If you pay carrier roaming fees, you're an idiot (unless you don't have a choice).

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      Really? Do you have a source on the MCC lock thing? Will that essentially mean there is no way to unlock it without flashing foreign firmware / other hackery?

      • ProductFRED

        I'm not 100 percent sure that that's what Samsung is doing, but it would be the easiest for them to implement since it's a standard. Like I said, this is what Sprint does (but inverted, to lock out US SIMs) on their iPhones and other devices. That's why people use SIM interposers (e.g. Gevey SIM), which sit between the SIM and reader and spoof the MNC/MCC.

        If Samsung IS doing this, I could mean two sets of unlock codes. Like I said, it's speculation on my part but it's completely feasible.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

          Sounds like it is MCC based, according to XDA.

        • http://pharaohtechblog.blogspot.com/ Conan Kudo (ニール・ゴンパ)

          Technically, every phone using GSM/UMTS has three sets of locking mechanisms: By full PLMN (MCC+MNC), by MCC, and by MNC subset (for those who use multiple MNCs in the same MCC).

          However, unlock codes only remove the MNC and PLMN locks. MCC whitelists are controlled through a secondary code or baseband firmware patch. It is unlikely that Samsung would give those to anyone.

  • Jorden Nading

    Makes me wanna buy Sammy's products more now. Not. Wouldn't you think easy-to-use would make people wanna buy that product more? C'mon Samsung. It's bad enough that Big Red and AT&T locked bootloaders and gave people more hassle, but now this?

  • Nick

    So much for a "world phone" eh? Pretty lame.

    • Bleakvision

      Or a "Life Companion". lol

      • icyhotonmynuts

        As long as your life is within the region you bought the phone. As long as you don't care about getting raped with inter-regional roaming fees.

  • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

    Dear Samsung:

    The more you became like Apple, the less I was interested in your products. Trying to out-Apple Apple, though, is a new low.

    Thanks, but no thanks.

    • jamesdbailey

      I just got my unlocked iPhone 5s and it doesn't have this local SIM restriction. So Samsung is not acting like Apple at all.

      • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

        Read my comment again. I'll wait.

        • jamesdbailey

          OK. Still says the same thing. You are blaming Apple for something Apple hasn't ever done. Not sure what you think I missed.

          Samsung is not acting like Apple except in your imagination. Apple puts restrictions on based on carrier requirements for subsidized phones but sells unlocked phones if you are willing to pay the price.

          What have I missed?

          • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

            Apple's been the king of locking down their devices in various ways for a long time. Meanwhile, in a lot of ways, Samsung's been becoming more and more like Apple. In this PARTICULAR instance, it looks as though Samsung has gone BEYOND Apple, taking their style of lockdown tactics well past what even Apple would do. Hence they've "out-Apple[d] Apple."

            Clear now?

  • Bleakvision

    Oh I love this! This is going to ruin Samsungs reputation, even more so than S4 screens cracking while sitting idle or the not so water proof S4 Active. This shitstorm is well deserved and has been long in the making. FU Samsung.

    • Tim242

      The S4 screen is great. No phone is waterproof. Resistant, not proof. FU

  • GryphKid44

    It sounded like unlocking the phones would be allowed as long it wasn't previously activated. Wouldn't importers still be able to buy in one area and sell in another as long as they do not activate the phone in the first area?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      Yes, but that's a massive PITA for consumers, who will be the ones who actually have to do the unlocking. The retailers will not be able to in this case, most likely. I'm guessing Samsung's unlock offer for unactivated phones may entail mailing it to a Samsung service center to have the firmware re-flashed to the appropriate region. Not exactly hassle-free.

      • http://www.toysdiva.com Toys Samurai

        May be it's about illegal trading of stolen phones? It's well known that stolen GSM iPhones in the US would often end up surfacing in other countries.

        • icyhotonmynuts

          Why would Samsung give a shit? They made the money on the phone already and then the victim would possibly buy another Samsung. Double the profit!

  • Toboe

    There is an update on the linked site which says that they got the confirmation that once you "activated" (used?) your phone with an Regional SIM you can use SIMs of any Region you like.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      95% sure they're wrong about that.

  • mgamerz

    It's this kind of shit that everyone hates Samsung. Copy apple and don't do this.

  • GraveUypo

    well, i don't care. there's plenty of other good manufacturers to choose from nowadays.
    well, not so many with sd card and removable batteries, but still...

  • bob

    There's a simple solution. Samsung will get forced to allow it to be changed because this type of product lockdown is illegal

    • The Phenom

      Only way I could see this changing is if the EU and other global partners banded together to try and force the change. With the way phones are stolen, sold then shipped overseas wouldn't be shocked if more companies started adopting this as a new standard.

      • http://jamieellis.co.cc/ Jamie Ellis

        That another way of looking at it (device security) so they rendered useless overseas. take the UK phones do not work once they blacklisted in the UK but export it outside of Europe they can get them to work!

        Then again it could be also a reaction move also to the EU Roaming decision

    • CoreRooted

      Actually, there is no legal precedent on this issue. A manufacturer is fully within it's rights to dictate where and how devices are sold as new products.

      Where it gets a bit murky is when it comes to second hand devices; If I have bought a device here in the US and want to sell it overseas, that's my right as the owner of the device. Again, it's not illegal, but it's never come before any court that I could find.

  • Jadephyre

    Okay, my GNex will be the last Samsung-manufactured phone then.
    I know that it's still a Nexus device and things are a bit different with them, but as long as a Samsung phone is not a Nexus anymore, I won't buy it.

  • Chahk Noir

    I wonder if this applies to Google Play edition Galaxy S4s.

  • Ryan Stewart

    Ok, then. Never buying a Samsung phone again. Cant risk not being able to use the phone abroad.

  • Steph Chi

    Yeah, consumers should react by not buying their products ... but will they ?
    Like others I personally would.

  • http://www.smsnetwork.org/ Mikael Jakobsson

    LOOOL for people some buy a phone in the EU and move to another country if man not wanna born in a shit EU country, and wanna chnge the sim card to the new home country and the phone is destoryed if man dosent want to change inside of it.

  • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

    are they within their legal rights to do this?

    • Toblerone

      Both yes and no - I would guess. It's probably legal in some countries, but I doubt it's legal everywhere :-P

      • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

        I would have thought something like this would be banned in Europe

        • CoreRooted

          Nope. You could mass produce a device today and sell it to just a small village and deny orders from outside of that village. You can also dictate that your device can only be used in that village. It's your product and as long as consumers agree to buy it, then you can make the rules. As long as it's not considered monopolistic and/or price fixing, you can sell it however you see fit. Samsung, in this case, can dictate that their devices can only be used in the region they were purchased. Where it gets grey is when a consumer sells a second-hand device. Does Samsung still have the right to region lock at that point? No one really knows yet.

        • http://jamieellis.co.cc/ Jamie Ellis

          It probably does go against what the EU thinks!

          You can see the EU getting 'excited' with waving its might with Samsung and others feeling the wrath if they choose to follow as an industry wide decision as an finger salute to the EU Roaming decision!

    • CoreRooted

      Yes; for new devices. For used devices; it's never come up before any court that I could find.

  • http://jamieellis.co.cc/ Jamie Ellis

    Europe going to have no roaming internally from next July because the EU mandated it regardless if it ultimately good or bad. Mobile Networks have been anti it and kicking up a stink about it and it seems manufacturers (Samsung at least) share the sentilement hence an EU lock.

    It might be an incentive to annoy them (consumers) by either going to the trouble of somewhere to unlock it, get another device when roaming overseas or contact your network if for example say you want to go out of the continental zone such as an Brit want to go to Australia or the US!

    We seem to know about Europe and the probable reason could be as simple as day as an "unhappy move remark back at the EU"

    More about this "Americas" Region?

  • Usman Nagi

    I purchased a Galaxy S3 from Malaysia and right now I'm using it in Pakistan somewhere around January. Am I at risk?

    • Yowan Rdotexe

      Only affects devices manufactured after July 2013.

      • icyhotonmynuts

        I read that if the device has the update post July 2013 it will be affected.

    • CoreRooted


  • Yowan Rdotexe

    You do realize that you can flash a different CSC file using Odin? With root access one can even modify the contents of the CSC. Just saying..

    • mrjayviper

      and normal users would have a clue what you just said

    • icyhotonmynuts

      Then you'd have to do this every time you leave for a different region. And when you'd arrive back to your home region, you'd have to flash it back at home, provided you duct carry a laptop with you everywhere you go. Real practical for the average techie.

      • Yowan Rdotexe

        Still a better alternative than paying roaming charges.

        • Carmen Leung

          why not save the hassle and buy a different manufacturer?

        • icyhotonmynuts

          Know what's more practical? A VOIP service used on WiFi. Cheaper than roaming, and simpler to use.

  • obarthelemy

    Wow, just wow. Samsung got on my blacklist in a single move !

  • Phanein

    I'm confused... does Samsung not want my money?

  • Cuvis

    Oh goody. Another reason not to buy Samsung. Like I needed one.

    It's a shame that Samsung is the only major company still doing removable batteries and SD cards, because everything else about their phones has landed them on my blacklist.

    • icyhotonmynuts

      I like removable battery. If you don't, don't remove the battery. Why is this even an issue? If I want to put a 5000mAh battery into my S1 and carry around a phone triple its original thickness, I can.

      • Cuvis

        You misunderstand; the removable battery is one of the few (two) things I actually like about Samsung's phones.

        • smeddy

          What do you dislike?

          • Cuvis

            Well, their build quality is generally terrible, and Touchwiz looks horrid, is clumsy and unintuitive, and feels slugish. Plus, their screens tend to be really oversaturated. And now this.

    • Carmen Leung

      sony is still doing them. Still expandable storage on their phones as well. Just no removable battery on some of their phones like the xperia Z. Xperia L has removable battery.

  • devilboyz

    WTF!! are they out of their mind. i am about to pick up note 3 when it releases and now i guess i wont. sorry samsung you just lost a customer.

  • Primalxconvoy

    Once this happens where I live, I will NEVER buy another Samsung device.

  • Lirodon

    You just lost me a future customer. Even if it IS a Nexus device (which Google would probably demand this not be on), this is anti-consumerism at its prime.

  • Leonardo Baez

    bad move samsung.....

  • FadyMahfouz

    Well, fuck you too Samsung. I live in Egypt and I was planing to get the Qualcomm based device from the US. Fuck you again.

  • Kurt Wurmser

    Well...companies do things like this. From say 2008-2009 Samsung Android phones were junk. The Moment, the Intercept -- all garbage. I had an HTC Evo and my wife had a Galaxy S (or whatever the Sprint variant thereof was) -- I got Froyo for the Evo months before her phone did. Then six weeks later Gingerbread came out for the Evo. Then Samsung had a golden era. Well, now I guess their golden era is gone.

    That's the great thing about Android -- if Samsung screws things up, it creates an opportunity for LG or HTC or maybe something like Blu to step up to the plate.

  • RaptorOO7

    Samsung is going to have some shit storm coming their way. As our idiots in the US Congress debate making phone unlocking legal (it should be) this will certainly do nothing to help Samsung's image or get users to buy into their ecosystem. I don't travel internationally, but IF and WHEN I do I do NOT want Verizon on my phone overseas jacking my phone rates up. I want a local SIM, that is the whole point of a SIM isn't it.

    • blumpkinator

      you shouldn't want Verizon on your phone even stateside.. They are pretty much the shining example of everything that's broken about the US mobile market.

      Locked bootloaders; exclusive devices; no BYOD, CDMA/EVDO still in use, verizon logos all over devices (on home buttons!), and preinstalled shitware.

      Let's not forget that Verizon is lobbying very hard to repeal the already weak net neutrality laws in the USA.

      Verizon just hung their logo on one of the taller and more visible buildings in my city and it gets my blood boiling every time i see that logo. I quite enjoyed that mine was the only state in which verizon had no presence.

  • hanfeedback

    Won't be buying any samsung phones while they have this asinine policy in place. Not going to deal with artificial locks while traveling.

  • Jose Torres

    I didn't buy an iPhone precisely because of this sort of "tight control" mindset...

  • Aki I.

    Maybe this will make the note 2 more valuable..?

    • icyhotonmynuts

      In my country the note 2 off contract, carrier locked and branded device has raised in price by $70 since its launch. $130 increase from the next closest country.

    • spydie

      I think the Note 2 was in the list. The guy that wrote the list above said "
      The new policy, at this point, applies to Galaxy S III, S II, Note, S4, S4 Mini, and Note 3 devices produced after the end of July 2013." But he surely meant Note 2 and not Note because it's way too old.

      • Aki I.

        I meant for people who already own the note 2 and were looking to sell them.

  • David Anderton

    Another reason I will not buy Samsung

    • spydie

      how many reasons do you need?

      • David Anderton

        not many

  • RH

    Well, that means instead of upgrading my Note1, to a Note3, it's gonna be the Nexus5, HTC1 max or other device. I bet the carriers put some sort of pressure on Samsung, although I find it hard they could, but the US carriers don't like it when I got a Note 1 from Germany, and then use it in the USA, on Straight Talk, cutting into the overpriced at&t, along with their stupid bloatware.

    • spydie

      Give up a Note and S-pen for some other phone? cutting off your nose to spite your face?

      • smeddy

        I'm someone who loves my Note but doesn't often use the S-pen. And I travel enough for this to be a full-stop no-buy. I am gutted right now. I've been waiting since the launch of the Note 2 for the next generation (coming from the Note 1, I couldn't justify a yearly upgrade).

  • smeddy

    Sh*t!! This was my perfect phone - I was going to buy it on the 2nd Oct.

    I love my Note 1. Do I really have to go for the Z1 Ultra? This is terrible.

    For context, I'm in Oz for six months, then back home to the UK.

  • steelew

    Can we make SIM locking illegal please? This is Bull$#!t!

  • Jeff Gan

    If it really is region locking then screw Samsung. It means that when we travel we cannot swap out the sim card for a cheap local plan. Do the readers get this? We need to carry extra phones just because Samsung thinks they are so big they can dictate the market.

    • spydie

      Stay home!

  • Rafael Eduardo Gomez Barrios

    To David Ruddock: It looks very fancy in your profile that "... enjoys playing devil's advocate". As you stroke out some parts of the text while updating, I would have liked to see not deleted like DELETED but simply stroked out what I read earlier today on this very same article, before your "applied some make up", and I am quoting you: "...I'm not justifying it - frankly, I don't exactly care, it doesn't seem like a big deal (granted, I live in the land of single-carrier SIM locking) - but the reasoning is understandable enough..." End of quote, as still stored in my phone Google Currents. Really?!, I am not justifying but it is reasonable enough? Looks like you had a friendly advise after posting. Worse than a victimizer is a victim justifying the victimizer, for all you said you were not justifying.

    I fully believe in freedom of speech, and think Internet is one of the greatest inventions and resources we have now, but this ease of having anyone posting anything, I guess it's part of the price to pay for it, and have to live with it. I expect this "happy triggers" in facebook posting together with a picture of a half eaten pizza, but I expect in a blog like this that the "devil's advocate" takes responsibility and ownership on his writing. If you made a mistake and posted it, right correct it with honor: strike it out, don't delete. But much better than that, think before you write and post. And as an adult, be ready for the consequences.

    And of course, I hope this Samsung practice turns out to be a unfortunate and brief mistake to be corrected immediately. It's not only the principles, but also a real life situation: I live in Europe and work in the Middle East, travelling very often; it means that I will need to Samsungs, one for ME and one for Europe? Yeah, right. For the time being, I don't see myself buying Samsung.

    Have a nice day!

    • spydie

      "to samsungs"???? try TWO

      • Rafael Eduardo Gomez Barrios

        Oops, yes better two than to. At least it was not tree. Thanks.

  • avanthomme

    Based on this fact alone, I will not be purchasing another Samsung device. Wow. That was shortlived. Samsung's fall from grace was quite swift. Oh well, thank goodness there's a host of great phones being produced!!

    • spydie

      Their pocket book will never feel it.

      • smeddy

        They might. The Note, by it's price if nothing else, is a premium/luxury device. Those who can afford it are quite likely to travel fairly often.
        I don't think this will be a huge drop in revenue for them, but I am so angry they've taken an 'instant purchase because I love my Note 1' down to 'oh crap I can't buy this now'.

  • http://www.youtube.com/crisr82 Kristian Ivanov

    Stabbing yourself in the foot lately Samsung?

  • mlauzon

    Well, this has stopped me from considering to get the S5 when it comes out, think I'll go back to one of the other companies, maybe HTC or take the plunge and get an LG; like Sony -- because of the debacle that was the SEXX10 w/ Android 2.1, when they said it was going to release with 2.2, and then didn't want to update it to the latest version until public outcry, because Sony's thing is, if you want the update, buy new hardware -- Samsung is going to be dropped by me, never to use one of their phones again unless this policy gets scrapped, but even then, I doubt I would go back.

    • spydie

      Really? How many people is this REALLY going to affect? Samsung has already calculated that answer and the answer is: "so damned few that we don't give a shit." Just buy your phones in the area you are going to use them. If you travel to an area it isn't supported in, suck it up (buy a $30 throw-away phone for a few days).

      • Carmen Leung

        but i like being green! I don't like creating garbage!

  • spydie

    The new policy, at this point, applies to Galaxy S III, S II, Note, S4, S4 Mini, and Note 3 devices produced after the end of July 2013." Surely you meant note 2 and not "note" as it's way too old.

  • Lumi

    Just hope other manufacturers won't follow suit.

  • spunkysam

    I believe that carriers have requested Samsung do this. This will force users to use data roaming when they go overseas. Wouldn't of expected this from a company that mocks iPhone for being restrictive. It is Samsung's loss, thankfully there are plenty of alternatives on the market.

  • fas

    SIM locking is banned in many countries, so Samsung can suck my balls.

  • Rodf

    That sucks. When I travel overseas I immediately buy a local sim card so that I can make local calls without massive roaming charges. Looks like my impending S4 purchase will be switched to another brand.

  • Blowntoaster

    I can guarantee you this won't last long. Samsung won't shoot themselves in the foot over something this stupid. The know how to make money and they'll do whatever it takes to get customers back.
    Keep calm, have some tea and watch this space...

    • Ultramag69

      No, kick up a stink. If there's no outcry then there will be no change...

  • CaibreGreyblade

    Samsung status: dropped. Oppo, CM, here I come.

  • smeddy

    Samsung: Make the absolute best phones (for my needs), and I was ready, for the first time ever, to slap down my cash on the first day for the Note 3. I've been waiting for this all year. I can't believe you did this to me.
    HTC: I love you, but without removable battery/memory, you're always off the cards
    Google/Nexus range: Same thing.
    Where to turn??? Android is my OS, but I'm going to have to brush up on Sony, LG, and Oppo.

  • jurrabi

    " is definitely going to be a pain to deal with" I already dealt with it: No samsung phones in my pockets :D That was easy!!

    • jurrabi

      Samsung folks: I'm Spanish and my wife is Argentinian. That means frequent flying between both countries. I'm not gonna start buying two phones for each local sim I (and my wife) have... So what I see you want is for me not to consider Samsung anymore... Well done!

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02jPkg5AhEc Eduardo Especial

    This is why Android Police is the LAST place to come for updated news. They sleep too late in the morning.

    This is no longer much of a problem at all, as anyone who follows XDA, etc. know:


  • Paul

    "If a phone is purchased in one region but never activated with a SIM in that region, it can be unlocked free of charge outside of that region by a "Samsung service partner" wherever it ends up." That means phone imports to the U.S from UK where they sometimes get newer/better/different phones will be possible. Some U.S person imports 10-30 phones, new, from the UK and sells them on EBay. As long as they've never been activated, a U.S service partner can convert it to U.S

  • gbyers72

    Oh... the list of reasons why Samsung is no longer the best Android handset manufacturer keeps getting bigger.....

  • Christ

    I WAS a Samsung fan until now ! This kind of attitude is exactly why I never bought an Iphone! I really tought the people at Samsung were better then that ! :( Now, they decide not to sell the 64g version in Thailand and sim block the countries where they do sell them. And they still expect people to buy their product ???? Well they can count me out and it seems to be the general opinion around here ! Good Luck Samsung, If you want to commit suicide, you'll find most people will be happy to let you.

  • Erwin Adrian Sutanto

    # If that happens, you can go to a Samsung service center (if such a
    thing exists) and they will unlock the device for you, free of charge,
    so that you can then use it. # i confirm, its NOT TRUE.....i bought galaxy s3 i9300 in switzerland on 16 sept 2013 as a gift for my gf in indonesia, at that time, there are no news about region lock (the news about it just exploded when note3 launched arround 25 sept 2013), but finally i knew it from the label on the box. its region locked and she bring it to authorized samsung service center, but they rejecting the phone....they just say easily: it just can be unlocked by samsung service center in switzerland.....until this moment, the phone still can not be use.....samsung, if you can read this: I has many samsung products, i bought in total 5 smartphones since 2006, tablets, navibot, ODD, HDD, bluray player, home theatre, digital camera, and many others, but start from today, NEVER EVER SAMSUNG ANYMORE. i'm really disappointed with you.

  • Diceman

    1. Grey Markets are not illegal
    2. Sim Locking preventing markete competition, WOULD BE.

  • jhon

    Kudos to samsung for stage 1 of its malicious intension

  • Deborah Reagan

    From my personal experience, the region simlock does NOT automatically release if your phone came form The Netherlands. I activated it with my Vodafone NL sim card and it worked wonderfully until I returned to China. Now it's a brick in my Beijing living room. (It works with the Vodafone SIM but those roaming charges are fierce!) I got this phone as an insurance replacement when my old Nexus s died. I'm asking the insurance company to give me a different one. Lord knows, Samsung is being completely unhelpful here!

  • disqus_IjEsY7bXSV

    Please explain and tell me why my new Galaxy S4 is is showing me sim card card issues. ...I might imagine its a virus but its a new phone. ...wigo

  • Si

    Samsung's clarification about the region lock is not true.

    Samsung state 'If you buy a device and activate it in its home region, the region lock is permanently disabled. You can then roam or use other nations' SIM cards anywhere in the world', but this is a lie.
    After believing this bullshit, I purchased a note 3 in Saudi Arabia where I activated it with my local SIM. After activating it with the local SIM, I then tested it with my UK SIM and it worked fine, so I assumed that it was indeed 'ulocked for anywhere in the world'.
    Shortly after this, I travelled to Thailand where I purchased a thai SIM, but when I tried to use it I found that it was locked... I tried 3 different carriers and all were locked.
    I took my phone to the Samsung Service centre in Bangkok but they could not explain the problem and refused to help me.
    After wasting 2 days of my vacation, trying to get my new £500 phone to work, I was left with the decision to either pay somebody to root my phone and use Region Lock Away, or I could buy another new phone. I chose the root route.
    Due to the region lock I was forced to root my phone and in doing so void the warranty. The phone has been a problem since new, getting very hot when on standby, but there is nothing that I can do about it because I had it rooted.
    Don't buy one if you intend to travel.

  • Abey

    Samsung galaxy s4 Active phone is region locked or not?

  • sdfsdf

    fuck google!