Apple on Monday announced that it plans to suspend sales of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 in the United States for online customers beginning on Thursday afternoon and in its retail stores on Sunday.
Apple To Halt Sales Of Watch Ultra 2 and Series 9 In The U.S.
In a statement shared with 9to5Mac, Apple confirmed it is “pausing sales of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 from Apple.com starting December 21, and from Apple retail locations after December 24.”
In other words, the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 won’t be available for purchase through the online Apple Store in the U.S. starting December 21 (after 12 p.m. Pacific Time). Further, Apple will cease sales of these models from retail stores after December 24th.
The decision to suspend sales of Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 from Apple follows an ongoing patent dispute between Apple and the California-based medical tech firm Masimo over a non-invasive blood oxygen sensor technology known as pulse oximetry.
In October, the International Trade Commission (ITC) found Apple guilty of violating Masimo’s patents related to its blood oxygen feature. It banned the company from importing and selling watches that use this feature.
U.S. President Joe Biden has until December 25 to review the ITC order issued on October 26 before a ban could go into effect. Meanwhile, Apple said it is pre-emptively taking steps to comply with the ITC’s order should the ruling stand. Also, the decision does not impact the Series 9 and Ultra 2 sales in other countries at this time.
“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 company said in a statement.
If the ITC ruling stands, Apple has promised to continue to “take all measures” to return the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 to customers in the U.S. as soon as possible.
The tech giant also plans to appeal the ITC’s order with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on December 26, if necessary.
Apple says the sales ban will not impact the Apple Watch SE, as it does not include the blood oxygen feature. It will be available for sale in the U.S. after Christmas Eve. Also, Apple Watches that have already previously purchased won’t be affected by the ITC order.