Yesterday we learned that Samsung would be implementing region specific SIM locks on future devices. Today, UK Mobile Review uncovered a way to avoid SIM locking with the Galaxy Note 3. The most important thing you need to do is activate the device with a SIM from the same region in which you bought the handset. After your Galaxy Note 3 is activated using the proper regional SIM, the ‘regional SIM lock’ will be removed, and it will be free to use on other carriers in other regions. If you activate your Galaxy Note 3 with a SIM not in the same region you bought your device, it will be locked down to that region and will not work elsewhere. For example, if you purchase the Galaxy Note 3 in the United States, you’ll have to activate it using a SIM card from a U.S. carrier in order to ensure your device remains unlocked and useable in other regions.
So what are your options if you have a foreign SIM? Well, you will have two options. The first is purchasing an unlock code for your specific country. After inputting the code for your country, the choice is yours as to which carrier you want to use. If you don’t want to do that, you can go to a Samsung service center and see if they will unlock it. Hit the break for the full statement from Samsung.
UK Mobile Review was able to reach out to Samsung and received 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.”