Apple pauses Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 sales
Apple can’t sell its latest watches in the US from 21 December because of its dispute with Masimo over blood oxygen sensing technology.As of 21 December, Apple is prohibited from selling its newest smartwatches, the Apple Watch Series 9 and the Apple Watch Ultra 2, in the United States. The last day to pick up or get them delivered from Apple Stores will be on 24 December Christmas Eve.
In a statement to 9to5Mac, Apple also confirmed that the Watch Ultra 2 and Apple Watch Series 9 will not be available to order from the company’s US website after 3pm ET on Thursday, 21 December , while in-store inventory from Apple retail locations will be unavailable after 24 December . The ITC ruling that prompted this decision only stops Apple from selling the concerned products, which means that they should be available for purchase through other channels like Amazon, Best Buy, etc. However, if the ban goes into effect after 25 December Apple will also be held back from selling the concerned models to resellers, which would lead to an availability shortage.
Meanwhile, a Bloomberg report claims that Apple, in anticipation of the ban, has started working on a way to change algorithms and the software it currently uses on the Watch Ultra 2 and Watch Series 9 models concerning blood oxygen monitoring. The report cites sources within Apple who are familiar with this development and said that the company is aiming to alter how the “technology determines oxygen saturation and presents the data to customers.”
What about the Apple Watch SE 2
The Apple Watch SE 2, which is the budget-friendly option in this year’s lineup, is exempt from this ruling. It has a lacks of sensor for measuring blood oxygen levels.
Do you know why the Sales Restriction
This decision is from the International Trade Commission (ITC) related to Apple’s patent dispute with Masimo. Masimo produces medical-grade equipment, including pulse oximeters for measuring blood oxygen levels. The dispute centres on Apple’s alleged infringement of Masimo’s blood oxygen sensing technology.
Is Sales Outside the US Still Allowed?
While sales are halted in the US, both the Apple Watch Ultra 2 and the Series 9 can still be sold in other countries. This means customers in regions like India and the United Kingdom can still purchase them.
See Apple’s Response
In response to the ITC ruling, Apple mentioned a “presidential review period” underway. Apple disagrees with the order and is exploring legal and technical options to ensure the availability of Apple Watch to customers. Sales pause from Apple.com starts on 21 December , and from Apple retail locations after 24 December . If the ruling stands, and the Biden administration doesn’t intervene, Apple plans to take all necessary steps to make both watches available to US customers soon.
Is if forever?
It seems unlikely, and Apple is describing it just a pause. The Presidential Review Period ends on 25 December , so if the Biden administration decides to strike down the ruling, then sales can begin again, though it’s not clear how soon. This would be a good result for Apple, but it seems unlikely, though not impossible. Apple could appeal or settle with Masimo.
Apple’s statement went on, “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. 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.”
Whatever the result of the Presidential Review Period, this is serious stuff. In short, if you want an Apple Watch with blood monitoring, time is running out.