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Apple withdraws Series 9, Ultra 2 watches from US sales | Here's what happened so far

Apple has removed its latest smartwatches, the Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2, from the US online store due to an upcoming import ban imposed by the US International Trade Commission (ITC).

Written By: Vishal Upadhyay New Delhi Published on: December 22, 2023 14:36 IST
apple watch series 9, apple watch ultra 2, apple watch patent dispute, apple watch sales in us
Image Source : FILE d

Apple has removed its latest flagship smartwatches, the Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2, from the US online store. This move is a response to an upcoming import ban set by the US International Trade Commission (ITC) following a patent dispute with medical device maker Masimo.

Import Ban Details

The ITC's import ban is scheduled to take full effect on December 26, prompting Apple to cease selling both watches in its US retail stores after December 24. Additionally, refurbished versions of earlier watches with SpO2 sensors, the Series 7 and Series 8, have been taken down from Apple's online store. Special editions of the Series 9, including the Apple Watch Nike and Apple Watch Hermès, are also affected.

Limited Impact Outside the US

It's important to note that the ban only impacts the sales of these specific Apple Watches in the US. Other countries remain unaffected.

Uncertain Duration of the Ban

The duration of the ban remains uncertain, and it's unclear how long these Watches will be unavailable for purchase.

ITC Denies Apple's Bid

On Wednesday, the US ITC denied Apple's attempt to delay the import and sales ban on the Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 amid the patent dispute with Masimo. The ITC stated that it has "determined to deny the respondent’s motion to stay remedial orders pending appeal and/or in light of potential government shutdown.”

Background of the Dispute

The patent dispute revolves around the blood oxygen sensor (SpO2 sensor) technology used in the Apple Watches. In October, the ITC ruled that Apple's SpO2 sensors infringed on Masimo's patents. Apple is reportedly working on software changes to address this and is exploring legal and technical options to make the Apple Watch available to customers despite the dispute.

Inputs from IANS 

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