Samsung Galaxy Note 3 may be region locked, limiting worldwide usage

Summary:The Galaxy Note 3 is now available in Europe and coming to the US starting next week. European buyers noticed a sticker on the box that indicates the device can only be used with a European SIM card.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 may be region locked, limiting worldwide usage
Image: Samsung

I pre-ordered a Samung Galaxy Note 3 from Negri Electronics a couple of days ago, but was initially concerned after hearing the news that Samsung may be region locking overseas devices. I ordered a SIM-unlocked carrier model and my mind was put at ease after talking to Mr. Negri more about this Samsung policy.

UPDATE: It seems that Samsung may want to change the wording on their sticker as things are not as bad as they imply. According to a statement Android Community posted from Samsung, the buyer needs to activate the phone with a SIM from the country purchased and can then insert other SIM cards and use the device like you would with any other unlocked phone. It is still not clear to me though if you can buy a device from a US importer and then get it setup with a US SIM card, but I will go ask an importer I know and try to find out.

I have reached out to Samsung for an official statement and clarification on the stickers found on the boxes and the statement made by Samsung PR in Germany. As you can see on the European and American units it clearly states that the device is only compatible with a SIM card used in either Europe or the Americas. When you buy an unlocked device, you pay the premium to be able to use it wherever you wish around the world.

The Note 3 is a perfect business phone with a large display, expandable storage, removable battery, and the highest specifications of any current Android device. I hope there is just some misunderstanding regarding this issue or else I will go back and reconsider which device I am going to purchase this fall.

Topics: Mobility, Android, Samsung, Smartphones


Matthew Miller started using a mobile devices in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since. He is a co-host with GigaOM's Kevin Tofel on the MobileTechRoundup podcast and an author of three Wiley Companion series books. Matthew started using mobile devices with a US Robotics Pilot 1000 and has owned over 200 d... Full Bio

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