Sales Halt for Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 in the US: Here’s the Reason

Apple has just made a surprising announcement, stating they will discontinue sales of their leading wearables, the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2, within the United States. This decision follows a prolonged legal dispute between Apple and medical tech firm Masimo over patent infringement.

However, I’m curious about the immediate impact: Are Apple Watch sales indeed suspended starting today? And what’s the timeframe for purchasing an Apple Watch in the US moving forward?

When is the Pause in Apple Watch Sales Expected in the US?

The company has officially responded to these inquiries in a statement. According to Apple, the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 will remain available for purchase on their official website until December 21 at 12:00 PM PT. In-store sales will persist until December 24, mere hours before Christmas.

In their statement to 9to5Mac, Apple clarified that these actions are preemptive measures aimed at complying with the ITC ruling before the presidential review. Here’s an excerpt from their statement:

Apple vs Masimo Court Battle

The legal battle between Apple and Masimo has been ongoing for over three years. Masimo filed a lawsuit against Apple in 2020, accusing the tech giant of misappropriating trade secrets, using internal information, and infringing on 10 patents related to blood oxygen monitoring technology. Interestingly, this lawsuit coincided with the launch of the Apple Watch Series 6, which introduced the blood oxygen monitoring feature.

Recently, the court ruled in favor of Masimo, finding Apple guilty of infringing on one of Masimo’s patents. This legal decision has positioned Masimo to pursue an injunction, aiming to cease the import of Apple Watches from China into the United States. This development signifies a significant setback for Apple in this ongoing patent infringement dispute.

The US ITC validated the court ruling in October 2023, issuing an order that potentially leads to an import prohibition on Apple Watches, specifically affecting models from the Apple Watch Series 6 onwards, excluding the Apple Watch SE, which lacks the blood oxygen monitoring feature.

Despite this order, an immediate ban wasn’t imposed due to a pending 60-day presidential review within the Biden administration. President Joe Biden holds authority until December 25 to assess the ruling and render a decision. While there hasn’t been any update on this matter, there’s speculation that Apple might be anticipating and preparing for the potential outcome of this review.

It’s indeed a tense situation for Apple, as the potential outcome of President Biden’s decision could result in a ban on selling wearables equipped with blood oxygen monitoring technology, specifically impacting current models like the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2. This ruling could extend to an import prohibition on these Apple Watch versions sourced from China.

As of now, nothing is definitively established, but if this ruling isn’t vetoed, it could cast a shadow over Apple’s holiday sales in its home market. However, sales in other global regions remain unaffected by these potential restrictions.

For anyone considering gifting an Apple Watch, especially with Christmas around the corner, acting promptly and purchasing from local Apple Stores might be a wise move given the uncertainty surrounding the availability of these models in the near future.

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