Manufacturers usually segment markets in order to increase total profitability. If they can segment markets then they can have different selling prices in different markets and maximize the selling price to customers in each market. This region lock may prevent large numbers of phones moving from one region to another. For example they may sell phones at higher price to distributors in the UK than in the US, because the UK market is less competitive, and distributors in UK pass on higher price to willing UK customers.
If it is Samsung's doing and not the carrier's then market segmentation could be a reason in addition to warranty charges. Although if its the carrier's general request and not Samsung, then it is likely as mentioned in earlier posts the carrier's wanting to protect their exhortative roaming charges to foreign countries. Example a USA to USA call on the UK Three PAYG sim costs 1.40 pounds per minute, which if made on a local USA sim would cost only peanuts, and a skype call only 0.014 pounds per minute (excl. tax), one hundred times less expensive!
If it is Samsung's project it will backfire and anyone who takes long holidays or business trips abroad will have good reason convert to another brand of phone.
Originally Posted by BarryH_GEG
The carriers, not Samsung, benefit the most from this. Not being able to use local SIMs when traveling outside a customer's home region will force people to use their subscribed carriers roaming agreements. International roaming is quite profitible for the carriers. Samsung's voided the warranty on gray market phones for years so they actually save money on support when people buy phones outside their regions. Forcing people to buy phones from only within their regions ups Samsung's warranty costs. They may pick up some revenue from currency exchange by eliminating people buying phones in other countries to save money but that doesn't seem like the primary motive. So I'm kind of confused outside carrier's pushing Samsung in this direction why they introduced this new "feature."