Samsung region lock Galaxy Note 3 – what this means for consumers

Last Wednesday Samsung’s latest phablet went on sale. Initially met with a lot of fanfare and excitement quickly turned to disappointment and anger for quite a lot of people it seems. On the box of customers new shiny Note 3 handsets saying that it was a European/American/Asian model and that only sim cards from that region would work.


There’s been a lot of back and forth between various regional Samsung Twitter/Facebook accounts and customers. Samsung in the Netherlands have said this only applies to the first sim activated, eg if using a European Note 3, it can only be activated using a sim card from a European network, then it is possible to use sim cards from other regions. However the UK Samsung Twitter account have said this isn’t the case and that it will only accept European sim cards, although it is apparently possible to get it region unlocked at a Samsung service center.

Users on various websites and forums have already disproved what Samsung Norway have said and concluded that the Note 3 is region locked.

How this affects consumers will depend on how you use the phone and where you buy it from. You won’t be able it import the phone from another region to save money as your sim card won’t work for a start but, what the main issue for many people, is the fact that if travel abroad you won’t be able to use a local sim.

If you don’t travel outside of Europe or your respective region, this region lock will not be a problem for you. Similarly, if you do go abroad but, continue using your regular sim in the phone and pay roaming charges, this also won’t affect you, your phone will work outside of Europe etc. However, many travelers use local sims from the country they are in, to save paying hefty roaming charges. With this new region locking system, customers will no longer be able to do this.

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