Apple has announced the suspension of sales for its Series 9 and Ultra 2 smartwatches in the United States.
It’s due to an ongoing patent dispute with medical technology company Masimo. The dispute centers around the technology powering the blood oxygen feature on these devices, with the US International Trade Commission (ITC) having issued an order in October that could potentially bar Apple from importing its watches.
While the decision is currently under review by President Joe Biden until December 25, Apple is taking pre-emptive measures to comply with the ruling, asserting its intention to appeal and emphasizing its belief in the ITC's finding being erroneous. The pause in sales will come into effect on December 21 through Apple's website and December 24 at retail locations, affecting the Series 9 and Ultra 2 models specifically.
Apple contends that other watch models without the disputed blood oxygen sensor remain unaffected by the patent dispute. The move may impact Apple's revenue in the coming months, but industry analysts suggest that the full consequences may not be felt until January and February, traditionally slower sales months for the tech giant in the US. Despite the setback, Apple holds a substantial share of the global smartwatch market, and the Series 9 and Ultra 2 will continue to be available for purchase outside the United States.