© Reuters Apple (AAPL) to to halt US sales of Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 this week – 9to5Mac
Apple (NASDAQ:) is halting sales of its flagship Apple Watch models in the United States following an International Trade Commission (ITC) ruling in a patent dispute with medical technology company Masimo, according to 9to5Mac, which quoted a statement from the tech giant.
According to the publication, the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 will no longer be available to buy from Apple’s website in the US after 3 pm ET on Thursday, December 21, while in-store inventory will no longer be available from Apple retail locations after December 24.
The lower-end Apple Watch SE, which lacks a blood oxygen sensor, is unaffected and will remain available for sale.
The International Trade Commission upheld a judge’s decision in October, sending the case to the Biden administration for review. During the process, US President Biden can veto the ruling, although this has not yet occurred, and it expires on December 25.
According to 9to5Mac, Apple is making today’s announcement as a preemptive measure to comply with the ITC’s decision.
The ITC’s order only prohibits Apple from selling the affected models, which means that for now, the devices will remain available for purchase from other outlets. However, the order does block all Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 imports to the US after December 25.
Existing Apple Watch models with blood oxygen monitoring will continue to function without change.
Apple is strongly contesting the ITC’s ruling and is pursuing a range of legal and technical options to ensure that the Apple Watch remains available to customers.
The tech giant told 9to5Mac that it “strongly disagrees with the order” and is seeking a range of legal and technical options to ensure the Apple Watch is available to customers.