Sometimes some of us aren’t patient enough to wait for a particular phone to arrive to our market, so we resort to gray imports from other countries who already have the device. This is perfectly normal, although in some cases it can prove somewhat costly due to limited supply. However according to the folks at SamMobile who have heard a rumor, it seems that Samsung might be interested in cracking down on gray imports with new update services starting with the Samsung Galaxy S4. Basically Samsung is interested in retaining more control over the sales and updates of its products, and one of ways it plans to do that is to prevent retailers from shipping devices to other countries.
For example if you’re living in the US and a gray market importer has brought in Galaxy S4 units from Korea, Samsung will not provide your particular device with the updates that it deserves. At the moment updates from Samsung come via OTA or via the Kies software, but the rumor has also suggested that IMEI based updates could be on the table as well. This is extremely troubling as it is possible that we travel with our devices from time to time, such as travelling to another country for work or study – does this mean our devices are effectively out of date until we return home? Not to mention this could also mean that some countries will have to wait longer than usual to get their hands on a device since buying it via gray market imports would no longer be favorable.
Of course this is merely a rumor and we certainly hope that Samsung isn’t planning anything like that. We expect that if they did, they would no doubt anger a lot of customers around the world, so we suggest you not get yourself too riled up just yet, take it with a grain of salt and hopefully Samsung will come forward and debunk the rumor in due time.