Samsung Galaxy S3, Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update coming soon; update will transport SIM region lock affecting Note 3 to older devices
The Galaxy S3 and Note 2 have been running on Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean OS for some time now but if the latest reports are correct, they'll be getting the Android 4.4 KitKat update soon.
However, the annoying SIM region lock that cast a disappointing shadow over the Samsung Galaxy Note 3's launch may actually be transported to the S3 and Note 2 through the update.
The SIM lock has not gone down well with Samsung Galaxy Note 3 users as it means they cannot use their device with a foreign SIM. International roaming will only be possible through the SIM of the device's home country. Talk about restrictive.
This was confirmed by a Samsung UK customer service team member to Forum.DXA-Developers.com user "dxzh".
The lengthy but illuminating post reveals that "the Note 3 was not intended by Samsung to be used with SIMs issued by operators outside of the European region, even following first activation".
Further down, it states: "The rollout of Kitkat is to extend the regional lock to existing SGS3s and Note 2s - I asked if my existing unlocked SGS3 bought unlocked over a year ago is to be subject to the same regional lock if I upgrade. Yes according to rep.
"So I would not be able to use a SIM from outside the European region in it when travelling? Yes according to the rep."
The exchange between the rep and dxzh is as good as confirmation that the Android 4.4 update is coming soon.
So the update appears to be something of a mixed blessing, as along with the much desired new features, S3 and Note 2 users will be getting one pretty unwelcome feature too.
The reason for the SIM region lock is supposedly to cut down the grey market whereby Samsung devices are bought in one region and sold in another.
It looks, from various leaks, like the Android 4.4 KitKat will feature more grey and white, rather than the familiar blue icons, and redesigned phone and camera apps with additional options that are similar to iOS 7. The leaks on TrustedReviews.com also show the Key Lime Pie icon.
However, while the S3 and Note 2 are expected to get the 4.3 update in the coming weeks, the 4.4 KitKat update is not expected until some time early in 2014.