Business, Hardware

Galaxy Note 3 Brings Unannounced Feature: Region Locking


Just as Galaxy Note 3 began showing up on the European markets, it was discovered that the delivered units are region locked. Travelers between regions such as North America and Europe will be forced to use their carrier?s roaming services, as they won?t be able to swap their SIM-card to the local variant, even if the unit is unlocked.

British online retailer Clove published an article with more info and a photo of a sticker that is found on all of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 units that were delivered to them:

?We wish to make our UK & European customers aware of certain functionality limitations regarding SIM cards on the Note 3. If you travel internationally (outside Europe) and usually insert a local SIM card when in those countries, the Note 3 will NOT be able to use the local network. It will lose all mobile connectivity with the exception of emergency calls. For example, if you travel to the USA and insert a SIM card issued in the USA, you will not be able to use the Note 3 for any voice calls, text messages and mobile data connection. It will work via a WiFi connectivity only.?

Clove UK - Regional Lock Sticker

Regional Lock - Germany

Undoubtedly, only losing party here are the potential buyers of these units as both carriers AND Samsung roll in the profit. That is, if Samsung does not provide an official statement to clear up the possible confusion, which just isn’t likely at this point. David Meyer from GO said that while the German PR unit working for Samsung confirmed the existence of the region lock, Samsung Switzerland said something else on their Facebook page (even though someone did provide a link to the Samsung’s statement in German language, which seems to at least vaguely confirm the presence of the lock). As soon as some new information emerges, article will be updated. 


Units sold in Sweden have the sticker too. Multiple sources have emerged by now, making this a real case – not a "possible confusion":


American models seem to be region locked as well (The North, South and Central Americas and the Caribbean being one region), as discovered on XDA Developers. Additionally, the regional lock sticker can be found not only on the new Galaxy Note, but on most products in the Galaxy line: Samsung GALAXY S III, II, GALAXY Note, GALAXY S4, S4 GALAXY mini produced after the end of July 2013:

American Model - Region Lock