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Samsung statement on Galaxy Note 3 region locking

Samsung statement on Galaxy Note 3 region locking

by Nirave27 September 2013

For the last few days, we’ve been hearing a lot about the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and the region specific SIM restrictions. We’ve already published a complete run-through of exactly how the restrictions work and how to unlock the Galaxy Note 3 SIM restriction but now we have official word from Samsung.


We’ve heard back from a Samsung spokesperson who gave us the following statement:

“In order to provide customers with the optimal mobile experience in each region including customer care services, Samsung has incorporated the ‘regional SIM lock’ feature into Galaxy Note 3 devices. The product is only compatible with a SIM-card issued from a mobile operator within the region identified on the sticker of the product package. When the device is activated with a SIM card issued from the other region, the device may be automatically locked until it is released at the dedicated service centre.

Once a device is activated normally, the regional SIM lock is automatically released. Users can enjoy the roaming service as usual and can use other region’s SIM card when travelling. The regional SIM lock has been applied to the Galaxy Note II and Galaxy S4 devices through a software update in selective markets. The regional SIM lock does NOT affect the device’s features and performance. Users can continue to enjoy all the advanced features of our products.”

So there you have it – Samsung are confirming that as long as you activate it with a SIM from that specific region, you’ll be able to use it as your normally would.

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About The Author
Founder of UK Mobile Review - I'm in my twenties and based in London with a passion for mobile tech, travelling and the Middle East. Connect with me using the links below.
  • Tim

    I got the middle east version of the phone and using a Kuwait SIM in it and it works fine, but if I take it out and put in a Thai SIM it comes up with the lock screen so this isn’t working for me.

    • frankie

      but i heard the units sold in bahrain do not have that sticker about sim restriction should it shoud work as they are not locked

    • marc.ecko28

      For sure thats not came from middle east version officially, its imported from diff regions.

      • Tim

        It had the middle east sticker on it, and it is working with the middle east SIM just not the ones outside.

        • frankie

          but as its in the middle east it should not be sim-locked

          • Tim

            Well it did have this sticker on it unfortunately I can’t read Arabic.

          • Ichibanmugen

            If you can make a clearer picture I might be able to translate it for you

          • sfasljkas

            Nevermind I saw the note 3 stocks in jarir saudi locked in the middle east but they have no clue how to unlock it yet lol

  • Medo Hussein

    they didn’t mention factory hard reset ?

  • Eu Stilou

    There are still reports on xda-developers that inserting a sim from your region first does NOT unlock the phone to other regions, so this thing isn’t over yet

  • Onweel2

    What samsung say is Truth ? Read my story please

    Hi (sorry for my English)

    I buy the note 3 from studenmobile . nl it is Netherland webshop for phone

    I use the Dutch sim card (Vadafone, Tele2, T-mobile) for calling chatting internet.

    As i read a lot of news about this. I should can now just put Thai sim card in it already. But it not working it still ned a clod for unlock the sim.

    I try all the Thai Sim card i have…. AIS, True Companay, DTAC. None of it working.

    I also call to Samsung support in Netherland. Samsung Service – en Informatielijn
    Tel: 0900-SAMSUNG (0900-7267864) (10 c/m)

    I get 3 different answer.
    First one She only say just follow what the box say if you have problem with it just change the phone within 7 day.

    Second one say.. I just go to the any simlock free shop for ask for helping. But the phone will only working a about 14 Day in Thailand if i make it a simlock free and use Thai Simcard. Or if i want to use longer i have to ask from Thai provider.

    Third one. She not even know what I’m talking about. I mean she not know about this model. When i say Galaxy note 3,she not know., SN-N9005 she not know. I have to told her the serial number and many thing before she know that this model is available.

    From the all answer I get. It seem like they not aware this problem yet in Nederland. Or they not being train yet what they have to do. Or they being trail only say do what the box say if you do not want it just return and buy something else.

    I also go to Samsung Service Center (Maastricht) that in the Vadafone shop . First thing i feel is they not welcome me as I am a customer because I did not but the phone from them. What they only say just try to call to where i buy this phone. So what the point to be a Samsung Service Center if you not help costumer who buy the Samsung phone.

    Now i think i have to wait till this thing be aware in Nederland.

    If someone also from NL whom have this phone. Do you have a same problem ?

    thank you for reading

    • KaL

      Same guy, I saw your video and I know the feels.

      Question though, did you use a region or non region sim FIRST?

  • Bolo

    Fuc.. you Samsung, I will support another vendor.

  • Chiron43

    “We’ve heard back from a Samsung spokesperson who gave us the following statement”
    I’m sorry, but someone not identified from Samsung talking privately with people from only one website/blog is BARELY to be considered as a “Samsung statement”.

    Considering the fuzz that’s been going on since the Note 3 started to be sold and the discovery of the stickers by customers/testers, Samsung SHOULD AT LEAST make some more official statement, like a really press release to everybody… they know how to do big when it’s to announce the launch of their phones, why don’t they do the same to clarify unequivocally the situation ?

  • Onweel2

    It not working. This is the prove….

    and something big is coming also

    “the rollout of Kitkat is to extend the regional lock to existing SGS3s and Note 2s – I asked if my existing unlocked SGS3 bought unlocked over a year ago is to be subject to the same regional lock if I upgrade. Yes according to rep. So I would not be able to use SIM from outside the European region in it when travelling? Yes according to the rep.”

    This just 1 past of the post from the guy xda forum

    and now if it is not so much bother you. Please read this page.

  • Mike Stevens


    • Nirave

      Sorry who is a liar?

  • Renee Kellow

    Can I unlock it in Texas from att to tmobile can some 1 help me please

    • Nirave

      This is not for the SIM lock on your Note 3, this only applies to the region locking which would not prevent you from using a T-Mobile SIM in a phone from AT&T.

      Please consult AT&T or 3rd party (disclaimer: we’re not responsible if you go down the 3rd party route) vendor for an unlock code to allow you to use other mobile network SIM cards.

  • Cemran Kırkpınar

    I have the same problem.. My uncle bought me an SM-N900 Unlocked Note3 from Orlando Bestbuy Store. Neither the salesguy nor Samsung mentioned/warned specificly about a “Region-Lock” while he was buying however he told that the phone is going to be used in another country (Turkey). So what i did was simply putting my Turkcell sim card in and unexpectedly the “network sim unlock pin” screen popped-up. I was shocked and called my uncle first to confirm he bought a sim-free phone for me and yep he did. I quickly gone through the forums in XDA, found the region lock away app from the respected Dev Chainfire, installed and ran it and buzz… No result ( didnt blame Chainfire though he noted its tested and verified only it Works in EU version) I had to root to phone to ran that app (i will come to that point in the end)..

    After that i delivered the phone to Samsung Turkey for unlocking, 10 days and no result. They told that they communicated with Samsung HQ and get an unlock code (somehow), but it didnt work. They told me to try “alternative” methods!! Say WHAT?? Samsung cant handle its own issue…

    I didnt gave up on it. I tried those unlocker sites that gave some codes for your IMEI number.. After some tries, i got the SAME codes from 3 different sites ( i wonder how it happened, maybe they are using the same database of something) and not just one code, 4 different headlined codes..NETWORK, PROVIDER, SUBPROVIDER, DEFREEZE codes.. But all of them didnt work and i posted some videos, screenshots to them about the errors.

    Finally, Samsung announced this… NOW; i did not activate my phone with sim card from that region as mentioned (now i demanded a US sim-card from my friend who is coming to Turkey next week and will try that method BUT i didnt not activate the phone with that card the first time so i am hopeless for that option also), my phone is rooted and the alternative methods are over on the net(as long as i install a custom-rom which is non-sense for a brand new phone if you ask me). From my point, my phone is dead as a brick now..Hooray Samsung for your brilliant marketing movement that “protects” your valuable customers…..

  • saad zakko

    Dear Nirave,

    Thanks very much for clearing this point for us . I am about to buy galaxy note 3 4G N9005 in UK but I am worried when I travel to Dubai, Iraq and China and may be other far east countries.obviously using roaming would be expensive and logically use local sim card to make local calls in these countries will be much cheaper . So I need to activate this note 3 ( buying it from UK ) with a UK sim card and then will take it with me when traveling and use local sim cards, correct

    Now my question , where I see some advertise for an International version of this note 3 n9005, so in this case which sim card I need to use first ? is it being an international version, it wouldn’t mater which sim card to use first ?
    Wonder if the International version is more expensive ? from your explanation it doesn’t mater if buy am international version or UK / Europe version? correct ?
    Can you give us your opinion and advice please .
    s zakko

  • Chris

    I don’t think this is true. I purchased my Note 3 in the US months ago and met the requirements to roam and use other country’s SIM cards. However, I’m now in the UK and not able to use any other provider’s SIM.

  • Tan Maxx

    I bought a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 LTE variant from Dubia! It worked like boss in India on 3G! but when I came back to Nigeria I put Etisalat 3G sim card! It worked fine till 10 days after that it stopped catching any sim card signal! Anyone knows plzz Help!! I contacted samsung they told show it dubai! I will go to dubai next year I cant wait till! WiFi works! Everything except Cellular Signal Works! It shows Emergency Calls only!! Its working on Android KitKat 4.4.2 with stock TouchWiz UI!