Why Apple Just Halted All Apple Watch Series 9 And Ultra 2 Sales

hero apple watch series 9
Apple will stop all sales of its Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 in the US beginning later this week. The decision by the US International Trade Commission (ITC) is currently under review by the Biden Administration, which must decide by December 25, 2023 whether to veto the decision.

The ITC made its decision in the case in October of this year, and recommended Apple should “cease and desist” from importing and selling its Apple Watches with pulse oximetry functions. The complaint initiated by Masimo covered patents for light-based technology to measure blood oxygen saturation. After the ruling, Apple argued Masimo was using the ITC to keep a potentially life-saving product from millions of people.

“This important determination is a strong validation of our efforts to hold Apple accountable for unlawfully misappropriating our patented technology,” remarked Masimo founder and CEO Joe Kiani following the original decision by the ITC.

apple watch ultra 2

Apple confirmed its decision to halt US sales of its Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 with CNN. The tech giant will stop all sales of the smartwatches on Apple.com in the US on Thursday, December 21, 2023, and on December 24, 2023, from retail locations.

“While the review period will not end until December 25, Apple is preemptively taking steps to comply should the ruling stand,” Apple said in a statement. It added, “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.”

It is important to note that other Apple Watch models that do not contain the blood oxygen sensor are not affected, and will continue to be available to purchase. Another point of interest is that the decision to remove the Series 9 and Ultra 2 smartwatches come at the end of the holiday shopping season.

apple watch sensors

“Apple has plenty of inventory of Watch 8 and SE so they will have products available during that time,” Ryan Reith, program vice president for research firm IDC’s mobile device tracking efforts, remarked concerning holiday sales of Apple Watches. “The bigger implication is around whether or not Apple can use the blood oxygen sensor technology that is in question on future devices, or if they’ll have to reach a settlement or come up with a new solution.”

In February of this year, the Biden Administration chose not to veto a separate import ban on Apple Watches based on another patent-infringement accusation from AliveCor. The last time a presidential administration vetoed an ITC ruling was when President Barrack Obama’s administration overturned an import ban on iPhones and iPads over a dispute with Samsung.

So, anyone that was hoping to get an Apple Watch Series 9 or Apple Watch Ultra 2 need to do so now. Depending on what the Biden administration decides, it may be the last chance to snag one.

**Update 12/19/2023 10:45am EST: It has been reported that Apple is working on a software fix that the company hopes will placate the problem. However, Masimo insists that a hardware fix is the only solution. The final decision lies with US Customs agency.

**Update 12/21/2023 5:20pm EST: Apple has officially removed the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra from its website. If nothing happens between now and December 24, 2023, the smartwatches will also not be available in US based Apple brick and mortar retail locations.

apple watch pulled from website