UPDATE 2: There seems to be a bit of confusion and I hope this clears up. So according to the new statement – an unlocked Galaxy Note 3 will still be unlocked that could be used globally. However, to permanently unlock the device, a user will first have to insert a SIM from the supported EU country to activate it. After the activation, a user can choose any SIM from any country of his choice.
UPDATE: So a little more clarification from Samsung. Apparently, it is not region locked as the sticker wants us to believe. According to a new statement given to All About Samsung, an activation in Europe will permanently unlock the device for the user to use in any part of the world. The requirement is a bit absurd for an unlocked device and totally beats the purpose of owning an unlocked Samsung device from Europe.
UK-based retailer, Clove posted an interesting image yesterday that claimed the Galaxy Note 3 will only be “compatible with a SIM-card issued from a mobile operator within Europe”. In simpler words, the device would work perfectly within EU countries but may not work when you insert a SIM card from an unsupported region. As absurd as it may sound, Samsung has even gone ahead and applied the same locking on other devices as well.
In a statement given to All About Samsung, Samsung confirms that devices produced by July-end carry the same region lock, which is highlighted by a similar sticker seen above. Some of the devices that have the regional SIM card lock are Galaxy S III, Galaxy S4, Galaxy S4 mini, Galaxy Note II.
You can find the original statement albeit machine translated below.
Some current Samsung products are now provided with a local SIM card lock. This means that devices purchased in the European Union, with SIM cards of mobile operators from Germany and from the European Union and the European Economic Area (the “European region”) work as usual.
Users of these Samsung devices can continue to use these together with their SIM card of a mobile operator from the European region via roaming service to appropriate roaming charges to their wireless service provider around the world. If purchased in the European Union and not yet been put into use to be activated for the first time abroad, users can unlock their device for the region free from local Samsung service partners.
The regional SIM card lock only affects the following Samsung models that are produced from the end of July 2013, and provided with a corresponding sticker:
Samsung GALAXY S III, II, GALAXY Note, GALAXY S4, S4 GALAXY mini and the GALAXY Note 3
Devices that have been delivered by Samsung and are in camps or even at retail are not affected.
Specifically, there is a functionality of the devices with SIM cards of mobile operators from the following countries:
Countries of the European Economic Area (EEA):
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands , Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, UK, Switzerland, Croatia
Albania, Andorra, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, San Marino, Serbia, Vatican City