TECHNOLOGY

Apple Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 Will Not be Available for Sale in the US Starting December 21

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Apple launched the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 smartwatches globally on September 12. The smartwatches were debuted along with the iPhone 15 series smartphones. The Cupertino giant has confirmed to 9to5Mac that flagship Series 9 and Ultra 2 smartwatches will no longer be available for sale in the US.

Apple to Halt Sales of Flagship Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 Smartwatches Soon

The Internal Trade Commission, popularly known as ITC in the US, has ruled that Apple has infringed Masimo’s patents. The ITC ruling relates to the technology used for reading blood oxygen levels. Apple confirms that the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 will not be available for sale starting at 3 PM (ET) on December 21 through Apple’s online store.

The in-store purchase of the product will stop from December 24 in all Apple retail stores across the US. Joe Biden, President of the US administration, has yet to review the ruling of the ITC. The administration can either veto the ruling or accept the judgment passed by the ITC. The ITC ruling comes upholding the decision passed in January against Apple.

The period for reviewing the ruling passed by ITC by Joe Biden’s administration ends on December 25. The final result of the verdict by ITC can only be known after Christmas in the US. The Cupertino giant has prematurely announced the decision to withdraw its smartwatches from the market to opt for a smooth withdrawal from the US markets.

Apple confirms that the Apple Watch SE will not be withdrawn from the US markets. The Cupertino giant hasn’t equipped the Watch SE with the capability to read blood oxygen levels. The ITC ruling doesn’t prohibit retailers from selling Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 smartwatches from the dates mentioned above.

However, Apple would not be allowed to supply its flagship smartwatches to retailers in the country. The ITC order essentially blocks Apple’s capability to import the products to sell across the country. Masimo has accused Apple of stealing information expertise and luring Masimo’s employee to join the Cupertino giant in a case filed in 2020.

The Cupertino giant contacted Masimo in 2013 for a potential partnership to develop technology for reading blood oxygen levels. Apple debuted the Series Watch 6 with the capability to read blood oxygen levels for the maiden time. Ever since then, Apple has included support for reading blood oxygen levels for every smartwatch except for the SE series products.  

The ITC ruled the order in October, upholding the January judgment with an administrative review of up to sixty days. Masimo claims that there are over 100 instances of patent infringement by the Cupertino giant. Economic experts in the US predict that it is unlikely for the Biden administration to veto the ITC ruling.

The experts claim that the Apple Watches don’t possess an economic impact as opposed to iPhones. The administration upholding the ITC ruling can cause Apple to lose billions of revenues generated by the wearables segment. Apple countered the Masimo case in ITC as a publicity stunt by the brand ahead of the debut of Masimo smartwatches.

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