Samsung got itself in hot water over the way it handled, or rather, mishandled the regional lock “feature” on the Galaxy Note 3 (yes, Samsung actually calls it a feature).
For those in need of a refresher, Samsung decided that the best way to tell customers it’s region locking the Galaxy Note 3 was through stickers on the phone’s retail packaging. In other words, customers had to buy the device in order to find out they might not get to use it with their carrier of choice. Adding to the confusion, the stickers turned out to be inaccurate, or at least partially so. Samsung insists users can use their Note 3’s with SIMs from other regions, as long as they activate them first with a local SIM. Still, many users have complained that their devices got locked anyway.
Now Samsung Germany issued a semi-apologetic statement on the matter, saying it didn’t expect the confusion the region lock snafu created and that it’s been collecting and analyzing feedback from users. Samsung won’t give up on the region locking, but it will look for ways to “simplify and optimize the procedure”.
What does that mean? It’s hard to say for now, though one thing’s for sure – region locking is here to stay, and it may soon affect other Samsung flagships.
There are some solutions in place: the official route is to call Samsung support, but if you can’t wait for that, you can opt for the services of an unlocking website or use the unlocking app that noted developer Chainfire recently announced.
Head over to GigaOm to read Samsung’s full statement (in German).