Not all Samsung Galaxy Note III models are made equal. Even some of the “unlocked” models are locked to specific regions, though you still can use them with a carrier of your choice (in supported region).
As reported on XDA forums, some users noticed SIM lock-style restrictions on both the unlocked European LTE Note 3 (SM-N9005) and unlocked Latin American HSPA+ Note 3 (SM-N900) when used with SIM cards from outside their approved regions. For instance, putting Vodafone UK’s SIM card in the American Note 3 will produce a SIM lock screen. Similarly, UK Note 3 can’t “handle” SIM cards from the U.S., United Arab Emirates or Singapore.
Samsung doesn’t hide this fact, with each Note 3 box coming with a sticker that says where that unit will work. European model’s sticker says it’s “only compatible with a SIM-card issued from a mobile operator within Europe,” even listing all the countries where it will work.
We’re not sure why the Korean company is taking this route. Perhaps it wants to harm retailers selling its unlocked units. Or it wants to justify the fact that some of its models have different prices in different parts of the world. We don’t like it. At all.