US ban nears, Apple pulls Apple Watch sales online
3 mins read

US ban nears, Apple pulls Apple Watch sales online

Before the International Trade Commission’s ban kicks in, Apple has removed the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 from its online store. You can still find them in physical stores and at other retailers for the time being.

You can no longer purchase Apple’s newest top-of-the-line smartwatches, the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2, on the company’s online store. This removal is a response to an upcoming import ban imposed by the US International Trade Commission (ITC), set to go into full effect on December 26th. After December 24th, both watches will also be unavailable in Apple’s physical stores.

The ban stems from a patent disagreement with medical device manufacturer Masimo. The US International Trade Commission (ITC) has determined that the SpO2 sensor in Apple’s smartwatches violates Masimo’s patents. Despite Apple’s attempt to delay the ban during an appeal, the ITC denied the motion on Wednesday.

Because the patent issue specifically pertains to the SpO2 sensor, Apple is still able to sell its more budget-friendly Apple Watch SE, which lacks this particular feature. The SpO2 sensor was introduced with the Apple Watch Series 6 in 2020 and has been a feature in every flagship Apple smartwatch since. In response to the ban, Apple has also removed refurbished versions of two previous models with SpO2 sensors, the Series 7 and Series 8, from its online store. Additionally, two special editions of the Series 9, namely the Apple Watch Nike and Apple Watch Hermès, have also been taken off the shelves.

Read Also | Google launches Pixel 8, smartwatch with new AI feature

The ban imposed by the International Trade Commission (ITC) is limited to Apple’s own sales channels. This means that other retailers such as Walmart and Best Buy should not be affected until they exhaust their existing supplies. Additionally, it’s important to note that the ban only impacts watch sales within the United States, and other regions remain unaffected by these restrictions.

The duration of the ban’s effect remains uncertain. According to a report by Bloomberg, Apple is working on modifying the software of the affected devices to address the patent concerns raised by Masimo. This involves changing the algorithms that measure blood oxygen levels and how that data is presented to the wearer. However, Masimo argues that the underlying patents are hardware-related, suggesting that software adjustments may not be sufficient to resolve the issue. If hardware changes are necessary, it could take at least three months for Apple to implement and ship new watches, as noted by Bloomberg.

Also read | In 2024, here are 5 tech trends to watch

Another potential resolution is a settlement with Masimo, an option the company’s CEO, Joe Kiani, has expressed openness to. As of December 19th, Kiani mentioned that Apple has not reached out for such discussions. In response, an Apple spokesperson, Nikki Rothberg, stated on Monday that the company “strongly disagrees” with the ITC’s ruling and is actively exploring legal and technical options to ensure the availability of Apple Watch to customers.

One thought on “US ban nears, Apple pulls Apple Watch sales online

  1. I loved you even more than you’ll say here. The picture is nice and your writing is stylish, but you read it quickly. I think you should give it another chance soon. I’ll likely do that again and again if you keep this walk safe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *