Looks like Samsung Electronics has had it with all the importers who are buying Samsung devices on one continent / region and then sell them elsewhere at a higher price. All new Samsung mobile devices will get a ‘special’ region lock in an attempt to stop such practices.
“According to many users on XDA, this isn’t a typical SIM lock, and uses an MCC-based (Mobile Country Code) lock that will not be disabled using a standard network-based SIM unlock code. The bit doing the locking lives inside the CSC (Consumer Software Customization) package in an MCC whitelist, specifying which country codes the device can be used in based on what regional software variant it is. Modifying the CSC without doing warranty-voiding kind of stuff is also apparently very, very tricky.”
It essentially means that even with a SIM unlock code, devices who have this locking mechanism, will not be able to work with a SIM that has an MCC beyond the cellphone’s home territory. This will become quite challenging to deal with.
Buyers, of especially the Note 3, have seen that Samsung has a new sticker on the boxes that advises that the company has a new policy to SIM-lock popular phones to the territory in which they are sold. Many people have confirmed it, in Europe, USA and the UK, in fact it was Clover in the UK that first publicized the news yesterday. Samsung Germany gave a statement with regards to the matter, but did not elaborate as to the ‘why’ there is a need to do this. This is the statement in a nutshell: There is a new company policy which applies to Galaxy S III, S II, Note, S4, S4 Mini, and Note 3 devices produced after the end of July 2013, in that all regionally locked devices will have a sticker which will indicate this. The lock is over an expansive area, in that a European region would mean the device will work throughout the entire European Economic Area and multiple non-EU countries / principalities, but not in, say, Africa or Asia).