Samsung rolling out new "region lock" via OTA Update
It has been confirmed by Samsung Europe, that new, supposedly SIM free devices sold in Europe will be region locked. This means that they will only work with a SIM card from a European network. Samsung have also confirmed that they will be rolling out a new software update (thought to be Android 4.3) that will apply this region lock to other devices such as the Galaxy Note 2 and Samsung Galaxy S4.
Here is what Gavin from Samsung customer support has had to say about this matter
"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 the GALAXY Note 3 devices. 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 centre.
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 2 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."
We assume that previously unlocked devices will be unlockable using the original unlock codes that were purchased from unlockingshop.co.uk
Should this not be the case then we will endevour to offer a postal unlock solution for customers who's phones have become relocked after an OTA update. This will only be provided to customers who have previously ordered an unlock code through our wesbite for the same IMEI. We will carry out the work free of charge (excluding postage costs).
For new devices which are region locked, unlock codes can be ordered directly through our website using the following services