Galaxy S5 region lock sticker

Samsung's new region-locking sticker isn't as scary as before, and actually explains what's going on

Think back to the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 last year, and you might remember a bit of hubbub surrounding supposedly "unlocked" devices in some countries coming with a so-called region-lock. The situation eventually turned out not to be quite so bad as was first feared, with devices being fully unlocked if they were "activated" with a SIM from within the approved region.

The situation with the Galaxy S5's region lock is a bit different, and fortunately the sticker on the box fully explains what's going on this time.

The label on the European GS5's box reads —

European Model: This product should be activated with a SIM card issued from a mobile operator within Europe. (as defined EU/EEA, Switzerland and the following Non-EEA countries Albania, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (F.Y.R.O.M), Monaco, Montenegro, San Marino, Serbia and Vatican City.) To use SIM cards from other regions, a cumulative call over five minutes must first be made with the SIM card from European operators.

So there you go. Once you've racked up a total of five minutes of calls in the approved region, you should be good to use your GS5 on any carrier, anywhere in the world. It's not exactly ideal, but at least the sticker fully explains the idea of activation, which wasn't mentioned on the Note 3 box.

Why is Samsung doing this? As was the case previously, it's most likely an attempt to foil "grey" (unauthorized) phone importers. And the five-minute total call time requirement is probably there to stop importers simply activating the phone with a European SIM card before shipping it outside of its approved region.

More: Region lock discussion on the Galaxy S5 forums

 
There are 14 comments

shirokuro says:

Well, it's better than the ludicrous Note 3 situation - but this is still a ridiculous hoop to make customers jump through. Unlocked should mean unlocked. I'd love to know how big a "problem" the grey market really is for Samsung. It must be a tiny, tiny drop in the bucket, compared to models sold through carriers worldwide. It doesn't matter how easy or clear they make it, it's a hoop nobody should have to jump through. Period.

well...if you love Samsung phones, then you know Samsung isn't stupid.

the problem must be big enough for them to take the time to region-lock the phones and print out these cute little stickers.

either that... or the European carriers phone dealers made the deal with Samsung.

solution: the United States should annex the European Union and created the United States of America and Europe. Just have to add more stars to the existing flag. So many stars together... looks like a galaxy. (just like a Samsung Galaxy)

TenshiNo says:

lol

lol?

I wasn't kidding. I genuinely believe that the United States should annex the European Union.

(please hole while I put on my flame-retardant suit)

icyrock1 says:

Us? Annex the EU?

Hah! We can hardly even get along together with what we have (congress, senate). Plus, our values don't match the EU (the scary "obamacare" republicans fear so much is *****far***** more conservative that healthcare in the EU). Hell, half the country would shit themselves just thinking about it.

TenshiNo says:

I suspect it's not a trivial problem, or Sammy wouldn't have gone to the trouble. All things considered, while it might be a bit tedious, it's not exactly "difficult".

mtmerrick says:

If you are in Europe its not difficult. If you're importing, then it's very difficult indeed

Al M says:

I bought an S5 in Rome, Italy where I live. I used my Italian SIM card (TIM) for ten minutes then went to Morocco. I put in a Moroccan SIM card and continued to get a "not possible to activate in Morocco" message. It never worked the entire two weeks I was in Morocco. Really disappointed with this concept!

Think this will affect quite a few Australian customers, lots of our online retailers sell European grey market phones

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mrjayviper says:

or order from Clove or handtec

evansgw says:

I really don't get this. If you buy a 'grey import' Samsung are still selling their phones and still making a profit. However, costs are obviously higher in Europe, but then this is what the market is for, to help bring down those costs. This is a barrier to trade and should be removed.

darkjamzi says:

yup totally agree. Like the region coding on DVD and BR it is all about restricting free trade. Unfortunately it looks like all the governments don't really care as they are on the side of the big corporations instead of upholding laws and agreements on free trade.

I get their concerns, but still think is RIDICULOUS!
Whit the nice explanation it just makes it easier to explain the customer you want to sell why the phone has been open.
If the person wants the phone, it will not matter if you opened for that purpose.
I've work 5 years in the telecom business in the Caribbean, I know how providers think ;).
They get these phones on a ridiculous low retail price that you can not imagine.
To be honest if you buy it with a contract at the end your actually paying for the phone.
It is your business if you want to sell it or not, you are a slave anyways for the two or one year contract.
Providers and manufactures forget this; When there is a will there is a way.
Nice weekend to everyone!

D13H4RD2L1V3 says:

I'm beginning to suspect that dem carriers have something to do with it...