Home Technology Apple Stops Selling Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2

Apple Stops Selling Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2

     By: Nick Gambino

 Apple is pulling the Watch Series 9 and the higher-end Watch Ultra 2 from both in-store and online shelves over the next week, the company announced to 9to5Mac. Mind you, these aren’t earlier models that are being phased out. These are the newest smartwatches released only three months ago.

They’re not halting the sale of the popular smartwatches because of anything wrong in the design or build. No, this is all related to a lawsuit brought by Masimo, a health tech company. They claim the Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 use a blood oxygen sensor that is very similar to a technology they hold a patent on.

As part of the legal battle, the U.S. International Trade Commision (ITC) ordered that these watches would not be allowed to be imported into the country, choking out the supply chain and making it impossible to restock.

This order was a result of a federal judge ruling that stated that Apple’s use of the blood oxygen  sensor in their watches infringes on Masimo’s patent. That ruling came down in January 2023, but it took until October for the ITC to issue the import ban.

While Apple has halted sales, the situation is now under presidential review. President Biden has the power to veto the ban. This review process takes up to 60 days, so the latest we’ll know what’s what is by December 25th. Things aren’t looking too good though as bans have rarely been overturned.

My prediction is the import stoppage will be upheld which will effectively kill the current iteration of the Apple Watch Series 9 and the Watch Ultra 2. They will have to return to the drawing board and redesign it without the current blood oxygen sensing system. Whether they replace that feature with something else is anyone’s guess. They may also decide to only make software changes.

If you want to buy either of these two, you’ll have to move quickly. They will not be available in Apple’s online store after December 21st or in the brick-and-mortar stores after December 24th. You can, however, purchase through retailers like Amazon, but again, with no imports, inventory will eventually run out.

The Watch SE is unaffected by the ban, so you could decide to go with the more affordable model and save a buck while you’re at it.

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