samsung-galaxy-note-3-9_1

Earlier today we confirmed that Galaxy Note 3 stock sourced from Europe and the Americas are only able to be used with a sim card from their respective regions. While this does limit our options for purchasing a grey import, the greatest impact for Australian users will be if Asia Pacific handsets are subject to the same regional sim card restrictions, forcing owners to pay expensive global roaming rates when traveling to other regions rather than a cheaper local sim.

The Note 3 is not released in Australia until 3 October so we were unable to confirm with any local retailers as they have not received stock yet. However Mobicity have received stock of the 16GB N9005 model sourced from Hong Kong and they have confirmed the retail box does not have a sticker as the Europe and American stock does. No confirmation on the 32GB N9005 model yet but we expect to hear back later this afternoon.

UPDATE: Mobicity have confirmed that Singapore stock of the 32GB model N9005 do not have a sticker and have been tested as functioning fine with Australian sims. It appears the regional restrictions may apply to stock from the Americas and Europe only.

Source(s): Friends at Mobicity
  • Willis

    Maybe it works as follows:
    Locked to the USA?: after 1 call in the US (with a US SIM) it will be released for use with any other SIM (anywhere).
    Locked to the EU?: after 1 call in the EU (with a EU SIM) it will be released for use with any other SIM.
    Check anyone?

  • IC

    I just returned to Sydney with a note 3 I bought from Dublin and I can confirm my phone works with Telstra and Vodafone SIMs.

    When I bought the phone it was locked to Meteor and I was told by samsung staff in the Dublin store that I had to make at least one call on the phone before returning to Australia or it would be locked.

    I made a call on Meteor in Dublin and I also went to a shop and got an unlock code from a shop so I could use my o2 SIM.

    Upon returning to Australia I put my telstra SIM in and it works fine. I also put a Vodafone SIM and that also works.

    The model number is SM-N9005.

    Hope this info helps others.

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  • VoidMain

    Situation for Phones in Australia :

    I am from Australia and bought the phone from Mobicity. Upon reading this article , i first contacted Samsung support in Australia. They confirmed that Australian stock dosent have the regional lock issue. But they cant confirm the same about phones sourced from other countries. As my package arrived from Hong kong, they asked to check with Samsung Honk Kong. I eventually ended up checking with Mobicity and they confirmed that the phones were intended for Australian region and they are dispatching it straight from the warehouse. Their suppliers have confirmed that the dispatched product does not have the locking issue.
    So i think for now the phones brought in Australia through a proper Chanel should not have this issue.

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  • Prash

    no Note 3 devices are region locked!

    This is the situation:

    If you buy a phone in Europe, you have to initially set it up with a Eruope sim card, same with america, ud set it up with an american sim card. after the initial installation, then the note 3 is automatically unlocked and can be used in any region with local sim cards.. hope this helps anyone who is confused.

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  • Richard

    I am from Singapore, got my N9005 this morning, no such stickers

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  • ocujos

    I visited the Melbourne Samsung Experience store yesterday to check out the Note 3. There were two of them, both in use by the staff.
    They called Samsung headquarters and confirmed that Australian Note 3 won’t be region-locked.

  • GingerNutter

    I can understand Telco locking but region/country? I can’t even come close to a reason why they would do this. Any explanation yet?

  • JeniSkunk

    News as important as this should be on the rotating headlines banner.

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  • reginaus

    @Derp u need to get a life mate

    you need to do a bit more research before you speale ur crap online ……sunshine

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  • Grumpigeek

    Wow!

    Samsung have just alienated business people who travel to various countries.
    This is a spectacular corporate face plant.

  • DC

    If this turns out to be the case then they’ve just lost a rather large order from my business. The Note 3 is an ideal business phone but with staff regularly travelling O/S, region locking makes this economically unreasonable for us. Why has Samsung or their retailers said nothing about this? The first we hear is a sticker on the side of the box at time of purchase and omitting that information pre-sale seems purposely dishonest. Stupid, stupid move which will sour many business relationships with Samsung. By region-locking the N3 they might hinder some grey imports, but crippling an international-capable phone will just mean an overall loss of sales for Samsung – and frankly that makes no sense. I can only assume such a decision has come from telcos or governments, but until Samsung release a statement about it, they’ve just lost a lot of respect.

  • Festivus Oz

    I hope this will not be standard for future roll outs. I always grab an local Sim overseas. Would think twice about Samsung for future phones.

    Nexus and Sony front runners on my next handset

    • JeniSkunk

      Considering that in the XDA thread discussing this move by Samsung, this region lock is also reported as being in the latest official Galaxy S4 firmwares, I’d say that this will be made standard across all Samsung phones.

      • Festivus Oz

        I hope they will not be rolling this change out to earlier stock. Will be interesting to see how this unfolds

      • JeniSkunk

        They are rolling it out over current production of earlier models, and to earlier productions of existing stock via firmware updates.

        On page 22 of the XDA thread
        (showthread.php?t=2457964&page=22)
        discussing this fail by Samsung, is post #214, with this info from Samsung Germany:

        .startquote.
        The regional SIM card lock only affects the following Samsung models that are produced from the end of July 2013, and provided with a corresponding sticker:

        Samsung GALAXY S III, II, GALAXY Note, GALAXY S4, S4 GALAXY mini and the GALAXY Note 3
        .endquote.

        Now while that is only what Germany are saying, why do I have the feeling that this is rolling out globally to those listed models.

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  • m4dm4n

    I can only imagine one of the heavyweight telcos had enforced this on Samsung before committing to stocking the model… As others have said it seems there’s nothing reall yin this for Samsung… I mean, who would buy a second model for the express purpose of using on the odd occasion they’re overseas? And I can’t imagine enough people would travel often enough that would purchase this specific model to warrant Sansung doing this in the hopes of boosting sales?

  • David Buse

    16GB model???

    Not sure that one exists guys ;-)

    • derp

      Exactly what I was thinking when I read that. I thought there was only 32/64 models.

      • Tommy Wong

        There are 16GB model in Hong Kong

    • Guest

      Hong Kong stocks are 16GB

      • Barry Findlay

        16gb model Is the dual SIM version.

      • Tommy Wong

        HK 16GB only takes 1 sim card, and available in 3G or LTE

      • moni

        ye the hong kong has 16 gb model only for LTE in a website. do they also have the 32 gb one ?

  • Barry Findlay

    who’s idea was this? Samsung’s or service providers? Cant see samsung doing that of their own backs, there’s nothing in it for them. I think this is something that AT&T, O2, Telstra etc would have requested this be done.

    • derp

      Probably find its because of silly people getting s4s from overseas that dont work properly on our networks (ie. dont support our bands or have a different modem firmware, most of the s4s needed a firmware flash to work on 4g here even though they supported our bands) Things are always ruined by idiots.

      Im guessing it will be a simple unlock though, im sure it will get sorted out quickly as it will hurt grey importers.

      • Barry Findlay

        I thought they said the snapdragon version had a world wide LTE/4g/hspa+ compatibility? Why would they put that in the phone and then do this. just proves the world is run by morons.

  • Damon Lewis

    Poor move Samsung.