Despite having an “unlocked” version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 available for purchase, it seems that unlocked has a new definition according to Samsung. Latest reports indicate that unlocked Galaxy Note 3s will still be region-locked, indicating that North American SIM cards won’t work in the European Galaxy Note 3 and vice-versa.
This little tid-bit was first indicated by British online retailer, Clove, who said the following in a statement:
“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.”
David Meyers, over the Gigaom.com, has received confirmation via Samsung Germany but any more details on the reason behind region-locking the device is still pure speculation. Despite supporting GSM in the Note 3, it seems that anyone who was looking at bringing the device with them on their travels and just slipping in a compatible local SIM card are out of luck.
As such, the definition of unlocked seems to have lost it’s pizazz with Samsung. The Galaxy Note 3 now joins the rank of other similarly despised region locked products, such as DVDs and video games. If you’re looking at bringing your Galaxy Note 3 abroad, even if it is marked as unlocked, be prepared to go WiFi only or pay extra out of your pocket for roaming charges.
And as more information comes to light, it seems that there has been a misunderstanding. As such, the notes refer to being able to bring your unlocked device into other regions, but rather that the initial activation must occur in a particular region. This means that unlocked Galaxy Note 3 devices intended for the European market devices can be activated only with a SIM card from that region. After initial activation and commissioning, everything is as usual, you can use a SIM card from any region.
And now, we wait for an official confirmation from Samsung. (Via All about Samsung )