back to article Samsung Galaxy Note 3 region-locking saga CLEAR AS MUD

On Thursday, we reported that UK mobile-tech shop Clove had noted on its order page for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 that that device would work only with SIM cards issued in the region in which it was purchased. On Friday, it seems that the real situation might be different. Might. GigaOm's David Meyer now writes that Samsung's …

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Anonymous Coward

Yeah...

"In order to provide customers with the optimal mobile experience in each region including customer care services..."

Don't serve me shit and tell me it's chocolate. The region locking is to get as much money as they can out of the poor saps they're shovelling this to, probably via some operator backhanders in return for this 'customer service enhancing feature'.

Utter pricks.

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Re: Yeah...

Of course this is all down to marketing & corporate policy,not customer service..

.The ONLY customer service issue is if they have had batches being mass sold in the wrong region, causing many customer services call for models that are different than the local ones.. but that is still a bit off...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Yeah...

But Android is an open platform, it is mobile nirvana and Samsung is its high priest.

Fandroids all worship Sammy the high priest to save us from the walled gardens of Microsoft and Apple...

Yeh right!

All companies do things for their own benefit including all Android handset makers and this shows them for what they are.he only way to escape their clutches is to build your own and wear a tinfoil hat!

Looking forward to the down votes :D

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Mushroom

Re: Yeah...

I will not downvote in order to annoy you.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Yeah...

Well, I will stick with my unlocked iPhone because I know I can use a German sim, Australian Sim and Hong Kong sim and it will work.

Shame on you Samsung.

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@MrXavia

It may very well be the case of maximizing profits. Checking the clove.co.uk site linked to in the article and exchanging the £495 (without vat) gives me US$799. Having a look around the US sites it seems an unlocked Note 3 is going for closer to US$899 so perhaps that's what it's all about.

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But he told the truth!

"provide customers with optimal mobile experience"

In an NSA-like least offensive enhancement of the truth, this actually means the customer wanders around in confused fashion looking for a maintenance shop able to unlock the thing.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Yeah...

Just pure dirt. Ca$hing in more like.

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Re: @MrXavia @Eddy Ito

Perhaps part of the price difference is that the Galaxy Note 3 isn't due to officially be available in the USA until October 1st...

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Devil

Re: Yeah...

Keeping in mind that generally the customer of a phone manufacturer is the carrier, not the poor sap who ends up physically carrying said device, the quoted statement suddenly starts making a lot more sense...

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Re: Yeah...

I'll pass on the foreign SIMs as long as it will play my Region 3 DVDs.

The Chinese (& LG) must be laughing (again).

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Re: Yeah...

I've been a loyal Samsung Customer, and I was planning to buy a Note III right after launch.

If this is really SIM locked by region, I will recommend against Samsung to every friend, family and collegues I know.

I might even produce a call for a general Samsung boycott on the internet!

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Who in their right mind would buy such shite?

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Anonymous Coward

Those blinded by Samsung bling.

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Anonymous Coward

People who want stupid features that don't work such as eye scrolling.

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Terminator

Someone who saw an unlocked phone with nice-looking features and couldn't have imagined a defect so batshit insane as this one.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: stupid features that don't work such as eye scrolling.

...or fingerprint unlocking

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Anonymous Coward

Re: stupid features that don't work such as eye scrolling.

"or fingerprint unlocking"

Sorry - but if Apple can get it to work reliably then *I* fucking-well want that. Up til now (?) it's been useless and unreliable but it looks like Apple have finally managed to make it workable.

And that's the worst part of all this - Apple are *not* the best mobile phone maker out there, are not the best PC maker out there, they are not the best software company out there... but they take things that are broken - THAT NO-ONE ELSE has managed to make work AND THEY MAKE THEM FUCKING WORK.

This is wrong in so many ways it's insane. Half-arsed implementations of good ideas is what this industry is built on. Come on people - sort your shit out. Apple shouldn't be the company to be telling you how to do these things.

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Is there both a SIM LOCK as well as a REGION LOCK?

The behavior described by the people with the activated an so REGION UNLOCKED phones could be explained if the phone was still SIM LOCKED.

In the US, w/TMO, I need to get my phone SIM UNLOCKED before I can use any other non TMO SIM.

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>Samsung spokesperson... self-aggrandizing marketing mush:

...

>'regional SIM lock' feature

Wow!

Feature!

That's the very feature the world has waited for the innovation of: to make a thing /not/ work sometimes, by design!

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Obviously it improves customer service as well!

Honestly, I weep for the human race where someone actually, genuinely thought that this was a good idea.

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Anonymous Coward

This is why you don't support one manufacturer at the expense of the rest. They all get greedy and screw their customers eventually.

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>> This is why you don't support one manufacturer at the expense of the rest. They all get greedy and screw their customers eventually.

Yup.

Had started noticing I had a lot of Samsung kit around the place. They've started to be huge and that means eventually they'll start trying to abuse their position, or just get complacent and dumb.

Locking is never a feature. You're making your product not work in some cases. This is not a positive!

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Thanks El Reg

I'll be sure not to buy one of these. Samsung is about to join Sony on the hardware shit-list, if they don't shape up.

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Re: Thanks El Reg

Sony, oddly enough, are now becoming one of the most FOSS friendly phone manufacturers.

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Re: Thanks El Reg

It is annoying indeed: I have a long memory, and don't forgive companies for shitty acts easily. This means that, when it comes to new kit, I won't have a Sony (the rootkit still sits very uneasily with me), nor an Apple (walled garden). Nokia sold out to Microsoft. Blackberry won't exist in a year's time at the rate they are going. Now Samsung is out unless they correct this *very* quickly. It looks as if Jolla are launching into a nice open market ...

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WTF?

So tell me again. Why does a phone have to be "activated" at all? If I buy an unlocked phone I should be able to put my SIM in the phone and dial away, this whole "activation" shite is for the fucking birds.

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I think that is the point here? These phones are not unlocked.

Myself I plan to get a 64GB Note 3(+64GB SD) when I can find one(so far can only find 32GB). I am in the U.S. and have no interest in traveling abroad. Will be a nice step up from my 16GB (no SD expansion) Pre3.

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Allegedly they are unlocked

Per the original article:

"Samsung has crippled its new Galaxy Note 3 by adding region-locking, making buyers of unlocked units attempting to use it in geographies outside of the area in which it was purchased subject to exorbitant roaming fees."

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Thanks Nate, its nice when people confirm stereotypes.

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Is there any anti-theft merit to this?

Is it possible that Samsung is testing a badly-implemented or non-disclosed theft-reduction measure?

If the phone locks up after being stolen and activated in a new region of the world (as is often the case when phones are stolen), then presumably, to some extent, the "owner" or holder of the phone could be forced to show proof of purchase and proof of ownership before being allowed to enjoy the phone.

Potentially, though, this could serve to more deeply tie individuals the messages coming from the phones. If each device somehow encodes the traffic flowing through it, not just sent to/from the named device's on-board email accounts, then a person's movements could be tracked even more, especially if a targeted handset is sent crafted for-tracking-purposes messages and lock-up instances.

Just thinking, I accept that there are other and better means of achieving what I am imagining.

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Re: Is there any anti-theft merit to this?

No.

The main reason why people steal mobile phones is not so that they have a mobile phone, but so that the victim doesn't have one. It doesn't matter whether or not the stolen mobile is any use to the thief or anyone. The aim was always to deprive, not to acquire.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Is there any anti-theft merit to this?

> Is it possible that Samsung is testing a badly-implemented

> or non-disclosed theft-reduction measure?

Here, have a "fanboi" brand straw to clutch at. :-/

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Are you one of the many Americans that doesn't have a passport?

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Thumb Down

Software *UPGRADE*?

Sammy is pushing out the 'fix' in a software 'upgrade' for older phones?

Grab the popcorn - but after you have switched off automatic updates on your own phone...

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Pirate

Re: Software *UPGRADE*?

I've got auto-update—my phone lets me know whenever the latest Cyanogen release is available. Come for the security patches that stop random people from pwning your phone; stay for the patches that stop Samsung from pwning it.

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Anonymous Coward

Good old Samsung. They're introduced region coding for phones.

Okay, I can understand that you may need to ensure that LTE and other stuff works in the country it is being imported into. But some people would just be happy with 3G.

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I was thinking about that, too. Because the US doesn't support LTE Band III (it's a military frequency there), I'm curious to know the LTE frequency list of the European Note 3. It needs to support Bands IV or XVII to be useable in the US for the most part.

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http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_galaxy_note_3-5665.php

but take it with a pinch of salt

Available as:

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 N9000 with 3G connectivity

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 N9002 with dual SIM card support

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 N9005 with 3G & LTE connectivity.

Also known as Samsung Galaxy Note III

GENERAL 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900

3G Network HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100

4G Network LTE

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Imagine if the Enterprise landing party comm badges worked like this...

It would be hell trying to call for an emergency beam-out if orbit was not high enough and required regional/geostationary relay satellites, and some miscreant encoded with regions.... (akin to military units being assigned different bands and freqs and such...)

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@Paul

The GSM Arena specifications are a summary and incomplete.

According to the Samsung website the 4G frequency bands supported are: "LTE (800 / 850 / 900 / 1800 / 2100 / 2600MHz) dependent on market support" ie. Samsung are saying that the "Note3" product will support all LTE frequencies but may not support all 44 LTE bands and duplexing schemes (TDD and FDD). But they don't give any details on what the capabilities are of individual product models released in each region.

Apple for the iPhone 5s, give on their website for each of the five product models, the set of LTE bands the handset supports along with the duplexing schemes supported.

Without this level of detail it is difficult to determine if a UK/EU activated Note3 can be taken to the USA and have any US network's SIM installed and for the phone to be able to connect and use that operator's 4G network service, or whether it will just default to 3G.

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Coat

Re: Imagine if the Enterprise landing party comm badges worked like this...

They're the comm badges they give to the red shirt of the week...

Mine's the one with the gold pressed latinum in the side pocket.

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Mushroom

Please excuse this OT comment...

...but Orlowski won't allow my comment on the IPCC article.

I hope all the anti-IPCC trolls will read this.

People can make their own minds up as to the veracity.

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Trollface

Re: Please excuse this OT comment...

Like buying region-locked phones, commenting on Orly articles is not necessarily recommended.

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FAIL

Re: Please excuse this OT comment...

This is SOP for Orly. Every article he posted was once 'comment free'. A few allowed it but it seems that he is reverting to type again.

Come on El Reg, can you at least tell us why your esteemed hack won't let us comment on his posts?

Does he have something to hide?

The readership deserves to know the truth.

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Re: Please excuse this OT comment...

If us commentards want to 'stick it to the man'....

Whenever there is an article with comments disabled, post any comments on the closest previous article with comments enabled...

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Alien

Re: Please excuse this OT comment...

Whenever there is an article with comments disabled, post any comments on the closest previous article with comments enabled...

Comments are enabled on Orlowsky's polemic based on falsehoods carefully researched piece. My comment was censored "rejected".

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Childcatcher

Re: Please excuse this OT comment...

Yes, I know what you mean. I was once demoted to "moderated" by Orlowski, simply for pointing out, on one of his typical propaganda pieces which asked the loaded question; "Why does Google lobby so much?", that the reason was obviously to counter those lobbying against them, specifically Microsoft's well documented Screw Google campaign (which is stil ongoing).

That didn't go down too well with Orlowski, nor does the truth in general, or anything else that proves him wrong, or more accurately that which exposes him as being consciously on the side of wrong, pretty much in all things (from climate change to corporate ethics, and beyond).

In essence, pick anything which is generally accepted as immoral or harmful, and Orlowski is almost certainly guaranteed to gleefully support it, and vice versa.

His views are so offensive and antithetical that comments were permanently disabled on his "articles" for many years, until quite recently (for some reason that he never explained), whereupon he started cherry-picking those comments that either didn't oppose his radical views or (in very rare instances) actually supported them, whilst censoring everything else.

I assume he's tolerated by El Reg because the outrage he causes sends page hits, and thus advertising revenue, through the roof, because it's certainly not for his insightful observations. The cynic in me might suppose that Orlowski doesn't even believe in any of his own polemic rhetoric, but he produces it specifically as click-bait.

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Re: Please excuse this OT comment...

If Wikipedia is to be believed (both The Register's page and Orlowski's own page), he is the executive editor of El Reg.

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Re: Please excuse this OT comment...

Well I read the link, that's 10 minutes I won't get back.

I suspect you where moderated to protect you from ridicule rather than for the content of the post.

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