Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 26th Sep 2013 13:32 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless

I really thought the days of region-locking were dying with the DVD, but it seems I was wrong - Samsung has decided to revive the odious practice with its Galaxy Note 3 smartphone.

Yes, if you buy an unlocked Note 3 in Europe and travel to, say, the U.S., you will not be able to use a local SIM card. In other words, you will be forced to buy your carrier's outrageous roaming fees or go Wi-Fi-only.

The worst part is that this is not a joke.

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henderson101
Member since:
2006-05-30

I've been living as an expat for quite a number of years now. So for me, it was the past ... I am not surprised, things haven't changed.


Well... actually they have. It's not as cut and dry as MYOB makes out. It really depends on how you get your phone. If you go to a branded store belonging to one of the main carriers, yes - you will get a SIM locked phone. If you go to somewhere like Carphone Warehouse, it's absolutely possible to get a phone that is unlocked, but that *should* have been locked. Carphone Warehouse (as an example, as they are on most highstreets) do not sell the carrier's branded hand sets per se, but sell them at the price dictated by the carrier. They sell most of their phones as unlocked handsets, and the purchaser just buys the phone at the carriers price, gets a SIM for the provider and pays a top-up fee to add credit of a specific level. So, when we got my eldest's phone, we bought it on Virgin Mobile (and paid a £10 top-up) as that was the cheapest "deal", but she has only ever used a Tesco mobile SIM in it (which, if you are not aware, is on a completely different base GSM network and should have been barred.) Now, not ever phone they sell is unlocked, but it's pretty easy to ask them which ones aren't and to buy one of those.

In spain you can get a sim and decent internet for a cheap monthly charge if you know where to look and I buy a smart phone in Gibraltar.


Same. Possibly cheaper.

You can do the same in the UK. Buy the cheapest contract with a phone and then say you don't want a handset update and negotiate a deal on the phone.


No, you can easily get a contract without a phone, a PAYG contract without a phone and many providers now offer to unlock your phone after a set period for free or a nominal charge. I can walk in to any Supermarket and get a PAYG SIM card for circa £1, use it for a few months then get a new one with a better rate on it. Companies like GiffGaff are driving down the cost of contracts - for around £10 it's possible to get unlimited Internet, SMS and very cheap calls on GiffGaff for example.

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