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[AndroidPolice]Samsung Has Begun SIM Locking Its Phones Across The World To Home Regions, Putting The Squeeze On Phone Importers?

post #1 of 33
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Quote:
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.

Quote:
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, Note II, 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.



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.

Disappointing news, International traveler or International version buyers beware.

Note: Android Police apparently misquoted the Samsung Germany statement, the original German statement mentioned Note 2 whereas the Android Police quote mentioned Galaxy SII and Note in its place.

Here is the original statement in German:
Quote:
Samsung GALAXY S III, GALAXY Note II, GALAXY S4, GALAXY S4 mini und das GALAXY Note 3.

Edited by sherlock - 9/27/13 at 9:17am
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post #2 of 33
Wow. Thanks for the middle finger Samsung.
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post #3 of 33
That's unfortunate. I wonder what brought the change, possibly different laws in the regions?
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post #4 of 33
well samsung just lost me and a few million others as potential customers for their next devices.

no samsung devices for international travelers who use local sims of said region
post #5 of 33
I can feel the Samsung love dissapearing
    
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post #6 of 33
So previously purchased phones will be fine? Also confused since they did not specifically say anything about the S4 ACTIVE, but they talk about the S4 Mini. Maybe my Active is not effected.
post #7 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattGordon View Post

So previously purchased phones will be fine? Also confused since they did not specifically say anything about the S4 ACTIVE, but they talk about the S4 Mini. Maybe my Active is not effected.
Phones without the stickers and/or made before july are fine.

Also, WTH samsung?
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post #8 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by rusky1 View Post

That's unfortunate. I wonder what brought the change, possibly different laws in the regions?

If that were the case, all others would be doing the same thing. Samsung is just awful, that's all.
post #9 of 33
I see Samsung is doing its best to push its customers away. I hate to say it, but my next phone might be from Apple... or pay the big bucks for a Google unlocked phone.
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post #10 of 33
Glad I still have a Galaxy 1. Seriously though this is pretty crappy, wonder why the change in policy.
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