Apple has taken a significant step by halting the sales of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 on its U.S. website, citing unavailability. The decision comes as a response to an International Trade Commission (ITC) order from October, which found that the blood oxygen sensor in these models infringed on intellectual property owned by Masimo.
As of December 24, 2023, Apple has ceased selling these Apple Watch units in the U.S., impacting one of its key products during the peak sales season. The devices, manufactured in China, now face import restrictions, contributing to a decline in Apple’s sales at a crucial time.
The sales pause not only affects new purchases but also raises concerns about potential repair challenges for existing watches. The inability to replace broken older hardware, especially for watches not under warranty, may pose complications.
This development has had a slight impact on Apple’s stock, with shares experiencing a decline during trading on Thursday. The situation might see a turnaround if President Joe Biden decides to veto the ITC ban before Christmas, pending a decision by U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai.
The uncertainty surrounding the future of these Apple Watch models adds to the watchful anticipation within the tech community, as the White House closely monitors the case, evaluating factors before a final determination is made.