Apple Suspends Sales of Apple Watch Ultra 2, Series 9 in U.S.
Apple has announced a halt in sales of its Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 models in the United States, effective later this week.
This decision is a response to a ruling by the International Trade Commission (ITC) in a patent dispute involving the blood oxygen sensor technology in these devices. The dispute is with Masimo, a medical technology firm.
Sales from Apple’s website will cease starting 12pm PT/3pm ET on Thursday, December 21, and from Apple retail stores after December 24. This move comes during a 60-day Presidential Review Period of the ITC’s October ruling, which upheld a judge’s decision from January. The review period, allowing for a potential veto by President Biden, concludes on December 25.
Apple confirmed the suspension of Apple Watch sales, exclusively reported by 9to5Mac. The iPhone maker outlined its proactive approach by saying, “A Presidential Review Period is in progress regarding an order from the U.S. International Trade Commission on a technical intellectual property dispute pertaining to Apple Watch devices containing the Blood Oxygen feature. While the review period will not end until December 25, Apple is preemptively taking steps to comply should the ruling stand.”
The ITC’s ban targets only the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2, which feature blood oxygen monitoring. The Apple Watch SE, without this sensor, is not affected. The ban restricts Apple from selling the affected models, but they remain available through other retailers like Amazon and Best Buy until December 25. After this date, the import ban will also impact these retailers.
“Apple’s teams work tirelessly to create products and services that empower users with industry-leading health, wellness, and safety features. Apple strongly disagrees with the order and is pursuing a range of legal and technical options to ensure that Apple Watch is available to customers,” said Apple in a statement.
The company also assured continued support for existing models: “Should the order stand, Apple will continue to take all measures to return Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 to customers in the U.S. as soon as possible.”
The ITC ruling does not affect Apple Watches with blood oxygen sensors already sold and allows for the service, repair, or warranty of units sold before December 25.
Regardless, this is a big hit for Apple’s busiest time of the year, as its latest Apple Watch units won’t be available for sale in the U.S. Look, Americans should just come up to Canada to buy their Apple Watches and get them at a discount with their favourable exchange rate.