KOREAN PHONE MAKER Samsung has infuriated early adopters of the Galaxy Note 3 by revealing that the device is region locked.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 went on sale in the UK earlier this week along with the Galaxy Gear smartwatch, but it seems that the launch of the smartphone hasn't quite gone to plan. Following its launch UK retailer Clove has revealed that the Galaxy Note 3 is a region locked device, which means that those who want to use the handset outside of Europe simply will not be able to do so.
"We wish to make our customers aware of certain functionality limitation regarding SIM cards on the [Galaxy] Note 3. The [Galaxy] Note 3 will work with any UK or European SIM card," Clove said on its blog.
"If you travel internationally (outside of Europe) and usually insert a local SIM card when in the country, the [Galaxy] Note 3 will NOT be able to use the local network. It will lose all mobile connectivity with the exception for emergency calls."
Samsung has since confirmed this to The INQUIRER, saying that it has incorporated a region SIM lock on the Galaxy Note 3 and its flagship Galaxy S4 in order to provide customers with a better experience, but we think it's more likely that the firm is looking to crack down on cheap imports.
A Samsung spokesperson said in a 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."
However, the news isn't as bad as it might at first seem, as Samsung went on to say that the region lock can be removed free of charge through a Samsung service partner.
"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 center."
"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  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." µ
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