With the Galaxy Note 3, Samsung created a bit of noise by SIM locking the device to the region it was purchased from. With this feature, the GALAXY Note 3 would only be compatible with a SIM-card issued from a mobile operator within the region identified. When the smartphone is activated with a SIM-card from another region to where it was purchased, the device will be locked until it is released at the dedicated service center. This obviously creates issues for people travelling to different countries and using alternate SIM cards.
Luckily, the Galaxy Note 3 phones sold through official sellers in the region don’t have this restriction and you are free to use them with any SIM card worldwide. The following statement was issued by Samsung:
Local consumer’s that bought their device in the UAE need not worry, as the regional SIM Lock feature is currently not available in the UAE but if consumer’s buy a device abroad and bring it back, they could find they are unable to use the device. By raising awareness of this feature, Samsung is highlighting the importance of purchasing its devices from authorized retailers and channels in the UAE. Buying devices that may have been brought into the region from abroad will not work due to the SIM Lock feature.
However, if the smartphone is activated normally using a local SIM-card, the regional SIM Lock feature is automatically released and users can enjoy the roaming service as usual and can insert other international SIM Cards when travelling.
“This is an important feature that we have introduced in many other markets to help improve customer experiences and services. We wanted to highlight the importance of buying local devices from authorized retailers to avoid issues with international network configurations. It really applies to people who might buy a device in other country and bring it back here.” Said Mr. Hayssam Yassine, Head of Telecommunications Group at Samsung Gulf Electronics.
Currently, the SIM lock feature is exclusive to Galaxy Note 3 however, it will be rolled out other Samsung devices including the GALAXY Note 2, GALAXY S3, GALAXY S4 and the GALAXY S4 Mini, through software updates.