Update 10/20/2023: Samsung says it will stop blocking gray market cell phones in Mexico. The announcement comes after the Federal Telecommunications Institute and the Federal Consumer Prosecutor’s Office asked manufacturers to cease such actions.
There are already four manufacturers that block their cell phones purchased on the gray market in Mexico. Samsung has recently joined to Oppo, ZTE and Motorola in a movement that prevents the operation of smartphones that are not approved to function according to national market regulations.
As our colleagues at TechGIndia México explain, the South Korean company began sending alerts to devices affected by the measure on September 13. “Your phone does not comply with regulations,” said part of the message that preceded an imminent block. That day has arrived.
The blockades began on October 11
After sending messages in the initial stage, Samsung finally began blocking the cell phones in question last October 11th, but with retroactive effect. What does this mean? That, although the measure began recently, it covers gray market devices activated since September 21, 2023.
The manufacturer has not provided details on the number of users affected by the blockages, but has said that it is offering a 30% discount coupon for those people who can no longer use their device. It can be redeemed through the official website for Mexico or in the Samsung Shop App.
With this, as we say, there are already several mobile device manufacturers that have taken action against the gray market. All this occurs in the midst of the sale of non-approved cell phones in the so-called gray markets, which are unofficial stores, such as Facebook Marketplace, among others.
These are devices that, according to the Federal Consumer Prosecutor’s Office, are at risk of not having optimal functioning, fostering unfair competition, not being 100% compatible with Mexico’s mobile networks, not having technical service or warranty, and not having repair parts. and affect user safety.
It should be noted that there is no regulation that expressly prohibits the gray market for cell phones in Mexico, but some companies are promoting a legislative reform to put an end to the purchase and sale of the terminals in this condition. For now, the manufacturers’ measures, CANIETI points out, do not go against current legal provisions.