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Samsung’s Region Lock is a Little More Complicated Than it Used to Be

April 15, 2014 - Written By Tom Dawson

When Samsung launched the Galaxy Note 3 last year, many Samsung fans were disappointed to see that Samsung had implemented a region lock into their devices. A lot of users felt like this was Samsung’s way of hurting customers or simply one more way to lock down a device, but in reality it was done to stop importers selling the device on to make a profit. Now, this sounds like a pretty hostile move from Samsung, but considering the company launches their devices worldwide – the Galaxy S5 launched last Friday in 125 countries – then it’s no wonder Samsung has an issue with importers selling their devices on for a profit. Besides, there’s the issue of not being able to get local support from Samsung as the device was bought somewhere else.

The region lock won’t really apply to many people, as all Samsung is asking is that a SIM from the region you bought it be used in the phone before you take on holiday or travel with it. That’s how it used to work the Galaxy Note 3, but with the Galaxy S5, Samsung is asking that a five minute phone call be made using a SIM card from the region you bought the phone in order to remove the region lock. Personally, I have no issue with this, but a lot of users have been complaining that Samsung should simply remove the region lock altogether, especially if you bought an unlocked device. Once the five minute phone call has been made, the region lock is said to be permanently released, allowing users to then use the Galaxy S5 no matter where they might be in the world. An official statement from Samsung has been issued on the matter:

“We incorporated a Regional SIM Lock feature into select Galaxy devices to provide customers with an optimal mobile experience in each region including customer care, localized content and services as well as dedicated warranty service. This means that the initial activation of these devices should be made with a SIM card issued from a mobile operator within the region identified on the sticker of the product package. Once a device is activated with a SIM card from the same region indicated on the device package, and the cumulative call time is over five minutes, the Regional SIM Lock is automatically and permanently released. Please note that the Regional SIM Lock does not affect any of the device’s features or performance including global roaming service. After the Regional SIM Lock is released properly, users can use other region’s SIM card anywhere, without restrictions.”

What do you think of the region lock that Samsung is implementing on phones going forward. Just because they release the device all over the world does that mean they can region lock the device? Let us know what you think in the comments below and over on Google+!