Samsung has a new policy for SIM-locking of its Android devices related to their home territories
Samsung has recently begun a policy for locking its Android devices to work only in the regions where they are bought from. The usage of the phones and the phablets will depend on the continent where the SIM-card is issued and activated. For example, if you buy and activate a Samsung Galaxy S3 from a European retailer, you will only be able to use it within Europe. The same rule applies for Asia and America as well (North and South). The news about the new policy of Samsung came from UK retailers which reported that the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 devices come in a package with certain sign on it. The sign reads a message with the regions where the device can be used with its full functionality.
Thanks to a statement made by the Samsung Germany, the new rules relate to Android devices produces after the end of July, 2013. The models that will be influenced by the policy are Samsung Galaxy S 3, Samsung Galaxy S2, Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy S4 mini, Samsung Galaxy Note and Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Users will be able to travel and use their devices within the regions included in the lock policy, written in the sign of the box. The stickers on the box reveal that SIM cards issued to a certain continent will not operate on another. There is an option for devices to be unlocked if they are bough from certain region but have never been activated. Users then can take the device to Samsung service partner and get it unlocked.
The Korean manufacturer uses the so called MCC lock (Mobile Country Code). It is done through Customer Software Customization white list of countries. Some users can try to remove the lock but this will most likely void the warranty, therefore it is not recommended action. It is still not clear why Samsung has decided to go on this path, especially after it tries to launch devices for business purpose. Modern business people travel a lot which means big inconvenience for those who want to use their phones abroad.
Source: allaboutsamsung (German)