Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is ‘region locked,’ so forget about using it abroad

People buying Galaxy Note 3s are finding out that they’re “region locked.” If you buy one in Europe, it won’t work outside of Europe. If you buy one in North America, it won’t work outside of North America. Even if the phone is unlocked and you use a SIM from a local carrier, the Galaxy Note 3 won’t work.

Nice job, assholes.



  • Ilari Scheinin

    At least it’s Android so it’s open.

  • Jeff Slater

    Further proving that Android is marketing bullet point open, not open.

  • Kip Beatty

    Can you imagine the unholy shit storm Android users and the press would unleash if Apple were to have done this with the new iPhones?

    • lucascott

      Not hard to imagine after all the iPhones are locked if you get a subsidy and folks are already freaking out.

  • lkalliance

    Android is perfectly open; I think we all forget what that means. It means the carriers can take it and do with it what they want. And they have, to the point where some products like the Kindle, based on Android, but appear to have very little similarity to it.

    “Open” can, I guess, also mean that the tech-savvy could root their phones, mod them, whatever…but the beneficiary of openness is not the end user, who is not the “customer” of Android: that would be the phone manufacturer.

    So, Android is perfectly open, and does right by the folks for whom it is meant to be open. Unfortunately, that’s not us.

  • Luděk Roleček

    Peter, what you wrote in the article is factually incorrect. Phone will work in other reagiens perfectly fine. It just won’t work with SIM cards from other regions. So phone from Europe will work in US but you have to keep European SIM inside (ie. end up paying outrageous roaming fees). You actually mention this in the last sentence but phrasing of first three sentences is quite misleading.

    Nonetheless, this is an appaling practice. Not sure if this initiatives comes from Samsung or from carrires but it should be stopped immediately before it spreads.

    • Sebastian Paul

      It seems it’s even a bit less harsh than you mention, it only needs a SIM from the country/region of origin for the first activation. After that, it seems that you can use whatever SIM you like.

      But it’s still obvious that they made this so that people don’t just buy it cheap from overseas, because it’s a bit of a hassle to get a SIM from another country (without actually being there).

  • studuncan

    From the comments, so take with a grain of sand:

    “It definitely applies now not just to Note 3 but Galaxy S4s and other Notes distributed to stores since July 2013.”