Apple’s flagship Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 models will be removed from sale in the United States this week due to a patent dispute.
The decision is in order to comply with a ruling from the International Trade Commission pertaining to the watches’ pulse oximetry (SpO2) sensor.
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The ruling is due to a complaint from device maker Masimo that Apple’s sensor infringes on its patented pulse oximetry technology, which was upheld by the ITC.
Apple is fighting the ruling but is pre-emptively removing its top watches off the market after 3pm ET on December 21 in the United States. Sales in the UK and elsewhere are not affected by the ban.
It’s not clear whether the ruling will even go into effect. It is currently undergoing a presidential review period, which gives President Joe Biden the power to veto the ITCs ruling.
An Apple spokesperson told 9to5Mac the company is preparing to comply with the order should it stand, but is exploring ways to get the Apple Watch 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 back on sale.
“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,” the spokesperson said.
“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.”
As of right now, the latest you will be able to buy the Watch models in the US is December 21 and they’ll have to be picked up by Christmas Eve. The review period ends on Christmas Day. We imagine this will be resolved one way or another.