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Samsung smartphones stopped being activated in Russia

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Izvestia: part of imported Samsung smartphones stopped being activated in Russia

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Some Samsung smartphones, which were imported to Russia as part of parallel imports, stopped turning on and activating in the country. Izvestia writes about this with reference to analysts and sources of the company.

According to one of the retailers, after installing a Russian SIM card in a smartphone imported into the country through parallel import, the user has problems activating the device. In this case, the device will not turn on and cannot be used.


As explained by a source in Samsung, the problem arises due to the fact that importers are purchasing “carrier” devices that are designed to work with a particular telecom operator. This practice is used in many countries and with many manufacturers. So, for example, in the US, you can buy a “locked” iPhone under a contract with a telecom operator and make a monthly payment of several tens of dollars. In this case, the user cannot change the telecom operator, and upon termination of the contract, he will have to pay the full cost of the phone.

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Unlocking costs some money – the cost of this procedure can reach up to $ 100 apiece. As a result, it is extremely difficult to sell such devices – the problem is that new importers do not have such experience, hence their failures.

source at samsung

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According to Mobile Research Group analyst Eldar Murtazin, the problem affected about 20 percent of new Samsung smartphones imported through parallel imports. According to his estimates, about 50,000 smartphones from the Korean manufacturer were imported this way in May.

Murtazin clarifies that the manufacturer blocks any devices imported from the countries of the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia, and China. Smartphones that are officially put on the market of the EAEU countries are activated in Russia without any problems. At the same time, you can encounter this even when buying a phone from a large federal retailer.

Thus, in order to activate a smartphone in Russia, brought, for example, from India, you need to install a SIM card from an Indian operator. As one of the buyers said, he managed to remove the blocking using a tourist SIM card purchased in a Russian communication store. There are no such problems with smartphones from Kazakhstan.

According to the interlocutor of the publication, smartphones have already appeared in some outlets, activated in countries where they are sold officially, with opened packaging.

“It is dangerous to buy such devices not only because the persons who activated them can pre-install malicious software on them to steal funds and data. Realizing that the account was made by one person outside the Russian Federation, and the device is operated in Russia by another person, the vendor can simply block it

Eldar MurtazinLead Analyst Mobile Research Group

At the same time, Rospotrebnadzor has not yet encountered complaints about non-working Samsung smartphones. The issues of remote software shutdown of technically complex devices are not specifically regulated in the legislation, however, a consumer who has bought a product that cannot be used for its intended purpose has the right to return it to the seller.

Remote lock

In February 2020, Samsung began blocking Russian TVs that were illegally imported. According to one of the users, applications stopped running on the device and an inscription appeared stating that the TV does not function fully in this region. The owner of the TV said that he bought it in December 2019 in one of the domestic online stores. He noted that after the first turn on, the device logged in to the Samsung website as the original one.

Samsung explained the blocking by the fact that the devices were imported illegally and are not used in the country for which they were released. “The blocking affected the functions of devices that were produced for use on the territory of other states or regions. Locked functions could not be available on such devices without manipulation to change the factory settings (for example, unlocking or flashing), ”they explained.

The company later announced that it was technically possible to remotely lock TVs around the world. According to a company representative, a special TV Block technology is responsible for remote interaction with the device.

“TV Block is a remote security solution that determines if TVs have been improperly activated,” the corporation said in a statement.

TV Block software is pre-installed on all TVs of the Korean brand. When a device is legally purchased from a dealer, the latter contacts Samsung and confirms the purchase of a specific model. The engineers explained that this feature will reduce the number of TV theft cases.

In early May, the Ministry of Industry and Trade allowed parallel imports of certain goods to Russia. These included cars and spare parts for them, pharmaceutical products, household appliances and electronics, railway locomotives and rolling stock – a total of 50 product groups.

Source: Lenta

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