Apple Watch Series 9, Watch Ultra 2 Sales Halted in the US; Company Reportedly Working on Software Fix: In the US, sales of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 will shortly end. This follows a decision made by the International Trade Commission (ITC) over a patent dispute involving Apple and Masimo, a company that makes medical technology, and alleges that the blood oxygen sensor technology in the Apple Watch infringes on multiple of its patents.
A 60-day Presidential Review Period is currently in effect for the case, concluding on December 25. In an attempt to avoid a potential sales ban, there are now rumors that the Cupertino, California-based tech behemoth is developing a software update that would alter how the impacted watches detect blood oxygen levels.
Apple confirmed to 9to5Mac that in-store inventory from Apple retail stores will not be available until December 24 and that the Watch Ultra 2 and Apple Watch Series 9 will not be available for purchase from the company’s US website after 3 pm ET on Thursday, December 21.
This judgment was spurred by an ITC order that merely prevented Apple from selling the relevant devices; as a result, they should still be accessible for purchase through other retailers such as Amazon, Best Buy, and so on. But, Apple will also be prevented from selling the affected models to resellers if the restriction takes effect after December 25, which would result in a lack of supply.
According to a Bloomberg story, Apple has reportedly begun developing a method to modify the blood oxygen monitoring methods and software that the Watch Ultra 2 and Watch Series 9 models presently utilize, ahead of the prohibition. According to the story, which cites Apple employees who are aware of this development, the corporation wants to change the way that “technology determines oxygen saturation and presents the data to customers.”
Apple Watch Series 9:
Apple violated one of five Masimo patents, according to an ITC judge’s January ruling, when it used light sensors to detect blood oxygen levels. At first, Apple disagreed with the ruling and asked the Commission to conduct a thorough assessment. Apple might face a restriction if the ITC’s October order prohibits the company from importing the impacted Apple Watches.
The US President may intervene and veto the ITC ban within the 60-day Presidential Review Period that ensued after the decree. President Joe Biden has not taken any action on the issue thus far, nor has his administration. The review period ends on December 25. If the ban on sales of the Apple Watch 9 Series and Watch Ultra 2 is not lifted by then, it is anticipated to take effect.
To comply with the ITC verdict, Apple stated that their announcement was made “preemptively” before the end of the review period. Since only the Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 models have blood oxygen sensors, only their sales will be affected if the ban is implemented. Models with lower specs, such as the Apple Watch SE, would not be impacted.