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Samsung is now locking all new devices to a region, making life hard

0. phoneArena 07 Oct 2013, 02:18 posted on

A rather hot topic has been trending the last two days, and we've been seeing it brought up at multiple locales, including several tips from our readers.

This is a discussion for a news. To read the whole news, click here

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 03:14 3

9. Chris.P (Posts: 560; Member since: 27 Jun 2013)

We didn't want to speculate in the main article, but the current theory is that Sammy want to get a tighter grip on its supply chain for a number of reasons.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 05:37 7

40. Damitel (Posts: 66; Member since: 21 Apr 2013)

For the first time, Samsung has chosen to bit her customers. Goodbye samsung! Wrong decision!

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 13:07 1

76. chandra7894 (Posts: 11; Member since: 27 Sep 2013)

There are number of otherways of tighting the supply chain rather to make the product not unlocked and selling as unlocked. This made me return the newly bought Galaxy S4. I will definately not touch samsung again as i travel globally and love my freedom if i have paid the full hefty price

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 18:49

91. willard12 (Posts: 1683; Member since: 04 Jul 2012)

Chris, just post a retraction of this patently false story. Trust me, after your gold GS4 story, no one is going to think any less of you. I know the editors are looking for the right words to say that allows everyone to maintain some credibility. But, allowing this article to continue without a correction is "making life hard for us." Where is Michael H when an apology article is really needed?

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 04:29 4

23. joey_sfb (Posts: 5741; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)

I will buy the brand that allow me to travel with minimum hassle even if I end up with an iPhone so be it.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 03:20 15

11. Sniggly (Posts: 7305; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)

Sorry to say, but I am becoming increasingly disenchanted with Samsung recently. I've lost enthusiasm over Touchwiz, they keep trying to build their own ecosystem to directly compete with Google's services (which confuses the hell out of customers; actually had one customer who thought that app selection on Android sucked until I discovered she was going to "Samsung Apps" instead of the Play Store) and now there's crap like this.

I am also increasingly glad that Motorola has its mojo back, at least on the design and feature front. I would hate an Android marketplace that only offered Samsung, Samsung and more Samsung.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 04:56 1

28. Napalm_3nema (Posts: 2183; Member since: 14 Jun 2013)

Yep, time to vote with the wallet.
I wasn't actually planning on the Note 3, but now that is definitely settled. Motorola has plenty to offer right now, as does Xiaomi and Sony. LG was closer, for me, until I used the G2 (Overall, I liked my LGOG better). No matter. No brand is bigger than the OS.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 05:02

32. Sniggly (Posts: 7305; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)

The only thing that sucks about Sony is that they seem hesitant to actually release a flagship in the US on a carrier. Motorola has given me every reason to keep them as my preferred brand, simply because they realize they don't need to screw with Android as is, and simply enhanced some key features of it.

I am actually really sure that once we get the MotoMaker option here, we can sell a ton of Moto Xs. Moto did a good job with the color selection, and the differentiating features they have actually do make the phone convenient to use.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 05:22 1

37. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4275; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)

Sony did have a few devices on AT&T, and the Xperia Z is on T-Mobile right now, but it's definitely not enough, Motorola has finally realized that after primarily offering Verizon devices and learned their lesson.

When Moto Maker gets out of exclusivity with AT&T, Moto X sales should peak. Offering cool customization, good features while maintaining a clean UI, great build quality, and then considering pumping out ads supplied by Google, the Moto X and it's successors have a promising future.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 10:02

69. 14545 (Posts: 1537; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)

I just wish they would give us at least one of the key features that the power users like myself as for. And that is expandable memory. I can tolerate a non removable battery, but memory expansion is one thing that does really irk me.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 05:16 1

35. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4275; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)

Samsung is losing their game in my opinion. The Galaxy S4 and all of it's ridiculous variants are now completely irrelevant to me, the new Notes are alright, but Touchwiz on them is pretty terrible. They've developed their own ecosystem so much, I wouldn't be surprised if they left Android and just made Tizen products. I wouldn't be exactly sad either if Samsung left Android; without Samsung flooding the Android market with products and ads, it would give other manufacturers a chance to gain market share.

If Samsung did leave Android, Motorola would probably rise up and take their place as the #1 Android manufacturer after a couple years (once everyone on contracts with Samsung devices gets off), at least in the US. Motorola and HTC have about equal carrier integration, but Motorola has more brand recognition.

And to those who will say that if Samsung left, Android would die, you're entirely wrong. Yes, Samsung is the top Android maker, but that's mainly because Samsung has the most recognizable brand name and the most products available. Most average consumers don't look for Samsung specifically, they look for ANDROID, and then choose from the brand that is most well known to them, which is primarily Samsung. And, since Tizen isn't a knows brand among all the consumers, they'll more than often stay away from it.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 05:43

44. Daftama (Posts: 619; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)

Samsung is Andriod $, @+, @*// they can't leave them I wish they would so I can see them fall.. As much as I Love their phones they need a smack just Apple does.. BB got one really hard consumers need to realize if you feed the fire it will grow rather build small camp fire multiple places and every one can win... Eventually everyone on top falls... Just matter of time when they will fall

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 05:44 2

45. Sniggly (Posts: 7305; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)

I think the strong sales of the Nexus 4 and 7 show that Samsung isn't the be all to end all of Android. Google has built enough of a market lead that even if they took a sizable hit from Samsung exiting their OS as an OEM, they could still hold on reasonably well. At this point Motorola's building considerable buzz in the press, they finally have a good ad campaign built around their flagship phone, and customers who actually try their devices are generally ranking them pretty well.

A quick look at Verizon's website tells a compelling story: Samsung is doing pretty well with phone ratings. The Galaxy S3, with nearly 3,000 reviews, sits at a 4.1 rating. The Galaxy S4, with 430 reviews, sits at a 4.

However, the Droid Maxx, which has only been sold for about a month, has a 4.5 rating, and has racked up nearly a quarter of the S4's review count already. The Droid Ultra and Mini both rank at a 4.3, with 30 and 43 reviews respectively. The Moto X sits at a 4.4 with 37 reviews turned in. The only Samsung device to sit at a higher rating than Motorola's phones is the Galaxy Note 2.

In other words, so far people have more positive feedback about Motorola's new phones than they do about Samsung's Galaxy line.

Motorola needs to keep building media attention and reaching out to customers. If they get devices in peoples' hands, and those people like those devices, then positive word of mouth will eventually start working in Motorola's favor. They have a strong history, they're now owned by Google, and their devices have some killer features. The recent expansions into South America show that Motorola feels confident in its current sales as well.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 15:26

84. dmakun (Posts: 320; Member since: 06 Jun 2011)

@sniggly, you've been very consistent with your preference for Motorola on android but I have to disagree that Motorola can ever be like Samsung. They simply have no presence outside the US. I haven't seen a Motorola device here in years! Whereas Samsung has immense presence for their mobile & home appliances. Not to mention the constant barrage of ads locally and internationally.

I'm not liking this region lock direction they are taking though. But deep down I know Samsung is too smart to jeopardize their less industry leadership position with a luckless move like this. Samsung will fix this immediately no doubt or risk losing their fan base.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 05:38

41. RaKithAPeiRiZ (Posts: 1488; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)

Sadly Samsung is already taking over android and once they squeeze the life out of it ,they will invade another platform or use their own .

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 03:43 8

12. FoneAddict (Posts: 259; Member since: 05 Jul 2011)

Screw S4 i'm buying the LG G2!

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 04:00 7

15. noim1 (Posts: 297; Member since: 15 May 2012)

Seems like Samsungs Doom is coming near !! SAMSUNG JUST REMEMBER THIS U DONT MAKE THE ANDROID DEVICES ALONE.There r Other OEMs to take ur place anytime..and if this is true and proves to be a hassle for me I would not even think twice to Leaving my Galaxy and move on to a Nexus !!!!

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 04:10 7

17. darkskoliro (Posts: 1076; Member since: 07 May 2012)

Every empire that rises, also falls.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 05:18 1

36. _Bone_ (Posts: 2154; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)

Well Sammy can do this because they are the Octavian empire of Rome.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 04:14 1

18. Rongocook (Posts: 76; Member since: 20 Sep 2013)

Wtf samsung!

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 04:26 2

19. Rongocook (Posts: 76; Member since: 20 Sep 2013)

Being a loyal samsung and apple customer, i'm starting to prefer apple of lately. Though want a bigger iphone.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 04:58 2

30. Napalm_3nema (Posts: 2183; Member since: 14 Jun 2013)

You and me, both. A 4.7"-5" iPhone would be quite nice.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 05:01

31. frazaco11 (Posts: 23; Member since: 23 Aug 2013)

Same with me. I use MacBook Pro ,an iPad ,had used iPhone3GS Galaxy s2 now on note 2. I planned upgrading to note 3 but sorely tempted to return to iPhone (5s) . I really missed iPhone but I love big screen!
Sammy should be careful with policies that drive customers to competition some of us are from the other side of the divide we can easily go back

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 05:51

46. Daftama (Posts: 619; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)

Inside word is Apple is working on that with iPhone 6 5.0 maybe 5.1.. But they will bring a game changing to to pallet phones

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 04:28 7

21. riachu81 (Posts: 6; Member since: 30 Nov 2012)

After 3 years using Sammy, I made the decision this month to switch from Sammy to Sony. Sammy are becoming too 'common'

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 04:28 3

22. SonyPS4 (Posts: 344; Member since: 21 May 2013)

Samsung is becoming like old Sony and current Apple.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 04:38

24. bomariam1 (Posts: 37; Member since: 08 May 2012)

Ok now let us see, their is a total unlock NOTE 3, and only in some region it's partially locked (some say you have to register first and then it's unlocked, and some say your network will unlock it for you).
from that I think that it's financial issue with those region nothing to do with samsung.
or what is sold in retail shops as unlock NOTE 3 is actually dedicated to region network.
like what I faced it Turkey that you can use your phone with Turkish network once, and if you came back you cant used it again.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 04:42 3

25. chemhaz (Posts: 161; Member since: 04 May 2012)

Time to buy shares in HTC because they will be getting my business and I'm sure many other fanroids if this is true.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 04:44 3

26. raheel998 (Posts: 3; Member since: 04 Jan 2013)

Bye Bye samsung.
This world is a big place.
Will find another good device.
May be an apple a day!!

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 04:45 2

27. amansingal14 (Posts: 309; Member since: 08 Sep 2012)

So, I can't go on a vacation and buy a tourist SIM compatible with the phone?

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 04:57

29. Pancholo (Posts: 380; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)

Lol, so much nonsense and ignorance. The smallest, most obvious thing is made public and now everybody is getting their tits in a knot. Move along; this will get cracked. In the meantime, go buy that certain unapologetic phone with the most radios evah!

In all seriousness, maybe they have a super secret plan regarding a push in dual-sim phones?

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 09:26 2

64. McLTE (Posts: 821; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)

I agree.

read the comments here.. it isn't event totally clear what is going on. Some are saying that once you activate the sim in your "home" region, then you can travel abroad and use sim's there just fine. If that's the case, then what's the problem?

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 14:41

82. Pancholo (Posts: 380; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)

Exactly. The "insert your sim before anything else" also contradicts every conspiracy theory in this thread. If that came to be the only option, then people will still go ahead and buy any of the phones, insert a sim of target region and STILL be able to sell them.

But oh well - ooga, ooga - I guess bashing is deep within our nature.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 05:05 1

33. eisenbricher (Posts: 973; Member since: 09 Aug 2012)

Pathetic move by Samsung. I'll surely be travelling to another country in Next year and back, so no Samsung phone I guess. Well LG G2 or Nexus 5 will be there to look forward to!

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 05:07

34. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 3718; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)

This is not good. This will reduce sales, people prefers unlocked international versions. Travellers cannot buy their favorites phones if they are in other countries/cities which have cheaper rates than their home countries..

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 05:33 1

39. JunkCreek (Posts: 407; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)

Samsung goes this far and it means a goodbye is near. Locked-up device region? So, where the heck is easier communication function gone? Money? They're really lost this time.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 05:39 1

43. ronjr123 (Posts: 79; Member since: 16 Feb 2012)

How many people actually frequently travel outside of their region? I would say few enough that it won't matter in overall sales.

It's not like the phone would be totally useless. Wifi will still work.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 05:59 4

47. syedej123 (banned) (Posts: 71; Member since: 08 Jan 2013)


While Samsung’s wordings aren’t very clear, it seems that the Galaxy Note 3 will actually be usable everywhere, but not before it is activated with a SIM from the region it was bought in. Once you activate it/use it with a local SIM, you’ll be able to visit other regions/travel abroad and use it with SIM cards from that particular region without issues. This is likely to reduce grey imports by retailers and those who want to make a quick buck by importing the device and selling it at higher prices, as the retailer would have to open the box to activate it before selling it, which would make it less attractive to a buyer.

This is a smart MOVE from GIANT COMPANY like Samsung.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 07:05 4

51. willard12 (Posts: 1683; Member since: 04 Jul 2012)

Exactly. Only on ACTIVATION do you have to use your HOME sim. After it is unlocked at Home, you can use another sim from any region. I see a corrected article coming in the near future.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 07:13 1

52. ibap (Posts: 758; Member since: 09 Sep 2009)

I've been shopping for devices the family could use at home and on an overseas trip next year. Glad I found out now - Samsung, you're off the table.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 07:21 2

54. Cyberchum (Posts: 675; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)

Bad news for black markets in Nigeria and I guess other places too and the worst news for me because I often patronise them.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 07:38 1

56. adrianzka (Posts: 60; Member since: 25 Apr 2013)

According to gsmarena who updated their post, you only need to activate it from the region it is bought in. Please update yours too PA, before you lead people in the wrong direction.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 08:23 2

58. willard12 (Posts: 1683; Member since: 04 Jul 2012)

PA has been on a roll this week with Samsung. 1st, they posted a story about Samsung copying Apple's gold colored phone-ommitting the fact that the samsung giorgio armani was released in 2009. Then, thousands of people are trading in their Samsung devices on Gazelle to get the new iphone - Which is factually inaccurate. Now, after seconds of fact checking, they post multiple articles about Samsung not allowing you to unlock your phone in another region----false. A few commentors figured this out in a couple of minutes. Samsung really needs to start advertising on PA to get better coverage.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 08:52

61. gabriel2 (Posts: 22; Member since: 27 Sep 2013)

they are really in nid of advert money from samsung cos they really getting on ma nerves wit all dis negative untruth news about samsung

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 08:21

57. daniel_bargs (Posts: 325; Member since: 27 Nov 2010)

I'm starting to hate Samsung now! Luckily my sister has bought hers in August but got no stickers like that! Haysss.... so what makes mobile phones stand out from landlines? They are both the same in a way that you can't possibly bring it outside your country. F you Samsung!

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 08:50 3

60. gabriel2 (Posts: 22; Member since: 27 Sep 2013)

shut up nd do proper research b4 talking

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 08:47 3

59. parkwaydr (Posts: 572; Member since: 07 Sep 2011)

PA. Im sure that being the responsible and truthful writers you are you'll fix this article.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 12:51

74. chandra7894 (Posts: 11; Member since: 27 Sep 2013)

Thanks Phonearena. You saved my day. Sending my new Galaxy S4 return back to samsung.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 13:30

79. nbringer (Posts: 180; Member since: 11 Sep 2012)

As a satisfied owner of 5 Samsung devices I can only say one thing: I guess it's time to become a Samsung hater...

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 13:38 1

80. nbringer (Posts: 180; Member since: 11 Sep 2012)

Phone arena won't let me edit my post now so it'll remain here as a testament of their misinformation... It seems there's nothing wrong with Samsung after all. One just needs to activate the phone and then it's free to use anywhere anyway.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 14:49

83. Pancholo (Posts: 380; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)

Unbelievable how people don't even bother to read a few other comments and continue to prove their distaste for something they don't understand. As an anthropologist, it's intriguing and super clear how the "bigger picture" has a prolongued and deeper effect on us. Nobody cares about anybody else anymore.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 16:10

85. nothingmuch (Posts: 194; Member since: 03 May 2013)


Its not a big deal ppl, just activate the samsung device where you purchased it and VIOLA its unlocked

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 17:42

88. rusticguy (Posts: 2828; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)

Samsung is transforming into Applesung.
Moved on to Sony ...

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 17:43

89. scsa852k (Posts: 329; Member since: 16 Oct 2012)

Well, US models are all carrier locked anyways.

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 18:44

90. Danishs (Posts: 147; Member since: 23 May 2013)

Wait wait so I won't be able to use my note 3 internationally?

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 20:06

93. nothingmuch (Posts: 194; Member since: 03 May 2013)


You have to get a sim from that region, but yes it will work from what I got from this link, the whole deal just means that if you purchase the note 3 from a particular region you have to activate it in that region to unlock it globally. Its just a deterrent from cross ocean sales.

PA needs to really post an update on this bit of news about this deal to clear up the fog before people really start jumping ship for no reason

posted on 27 Sep 2013, 20:16

94. nothingmuch (Posts: 194; Member since: 03 May 2013)


This a quote from this link:

"If you've got an unlocked European or American Galaxy Note 3 and used a local SIM when you switched it on for the first time, you're good — you don't need to do anything. Your Note 3 should be unlocked to use any SIM when you travel outside of the phone's home region"

The whole story will shed some light

posted on 28 Sep 2013, 00:03

95. ThePython (Posts: 887; Member since: 08 May 2013)

That's just pathetic...

posted on 28 Sep 2013, 03:45

97. Topcat488 (Posts: 1396; Member since: 29 Sep 2012)

What is the difference if grey supply chain or whoever sells a Samsung device in a region where it's not sold by the OEM!!! If the device wasn't stolen then Samsung made $$ in a place where they hadn't before!

Samsung making problems because they can!
Hello HTC One Max!

posted on 29 Sep 2013, 06:30

105. Onweel2 (Posts: 10; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)

This is only 1 website so far that not mention the problem solved. please keep it this way.

Please do not say
"Update the problem is solved from the Statement Samsung German in the reporter email bar bara... then just copy and paste the message "

Please try it in your office first. but (Eu sim card in usa phone or other ways around is not a problem)

This maybe something big for you can deg it about why Samsung doing this.

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