Re: VietNam has cell handset locking legislation UPDATE
I continued my search for the elusive unlocked Note 3 on Saturday evening and have found some more information on this lock.
An "unlocked" Note 3 has to be INITIALLY LOADED WITH A SIM FROM THE REGION OF PURCHASE and after that it can be used globally.
However, if purchased under a term contract it will remain locked to that particular cellco. Cellco contracts are not exactly popular out here in the Far East.
I went to a notorious discounter in Ho Chi Minh City on Saturday night and they had Note 3 advertising on their window but it had a large winking eye on the poster.
Th salesman, who spoke fluent English, showed me that after being initialised with a local SIM (which they do for you) you can insert a Rogers Canada, or an AT&T SIM with full functionality, then you can re-insert a VN SIM and it, too, is fine.
My 'friendly' salesman said they had carefully opened up all 19 units they had for sale and had initialised them with a VN SIM
As I mentioned above the Note 3 is listed for VN Dong 16,900,000 including 10% VAT, BUT IT MUST BE PAID FOR IN CASH.
The deal this rogue offered was the Samsung fixed price (16 GB) and after filling in a customer information form, he then issued a VAT rebate form AND he refunded IN CASH the VAT amount PLUS he through in a Samsung case (retail value VN Dong 600,000). VAT is a strange subject in VietNam as there are so many ways to avoid it.
He cannot discount the unit price. Other dealers are issuing Discount Coupons which can be used for other purchases or a cash payout.
I realised, after reading press reports this Samsung scheme had been in effect since 2013 July, a Canadian friend who had bought a 'restricted' S4 in VN had experienced no problems after returning home.
WHAT or HOW Samsung hopes to achieve with this is hard to understand since once a unit has been initialised with a appropriate SIM, the grey market can thrive as usual.
I now own a black version, with my free case, and am supposedly free to roam.