Apple is about to stop selling the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 – here are all the details – TechRadar

(Image credit: Future / Matt Evans)

Apple has announced in a statement that the company will stop selling the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 in the US from Apple’s website in after 3pm ET on December 21, 2023. You will still be able to buy them in-store until December 24, but then physical sales will end too. Outside of the US, both models will still be available to purchase.

Yes – Apple will completely halt sales of the best Apple Watches in the week right before Christmas. According to 9to5Mac, Apple will not be able to restock other retailers, so any store at the likes of Best Buy and Target will diminish over time if the ban continues.

It’s the result of a patent battle between Apple and a company called Masimo over the blood oxygen sensor in the Apple Watch, which has resulted in a ruling from the International Trade Commission against Apple, leading to this ban – though Apple plans to continue fighting the ruling, as you might expect. Here is Apple’s official statement:

“A Presidential Review Period is in progress regarding an order from the U.S. International Trade Commission on a technical intellectual property dispute pertaining to Apple Watch devices containing the Blood Oxygen feature. While the review period will not end until December 25, Apple is preemptively taking steps to comply should the ruling stand. This includes pausing sales of Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 from starting December 21, and from Apple retail locations after December 24.

Apple’s teams work tirelessly to create products and services that empower users with industry-leading health, wellness, and safety features. Apple strongly disagrees with the order and is pursuing a range of legal and technical options to ensure that Apple Watch is available to customers.

Should the order stand, Apple will continue to take all measures to return Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 to customers in the U.S. as soon as possible.”

Of the models Apple currently sells, only the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 include the blood oxygen sensing technology, which means the Apple Watch SE will continue being sold, since it isn’t included in the patent infringement case. 

Of course, with the case having been brought earlier than the launch of the latest Apple Watches, previous models would have been included too, but since Apple has discontinued them anyway, there’s no ban against them, and Apple says there will be no effect on these models for people who already own them.

At the moment, this banning order is still in the Presidential Review Period, and so it’s possible that President Biden could still veto the ban, meaning Apple could carry on selling it until the next phase of its legal battle with Masimo. Apple has told TechRadar that it will be able to provide more information after the Presidential Review Period ends on December 25.

However, Apple says that it plans to appeal the ruling to Federal Circuit, and that it’s possible the ITC banning order will actually be ruled as a mistake by the US Trade Representative, though obviously these are speculative fixes – though history is on Apple’s side.

However, it may not help that Apple also lost a patent ruling fight with a company named AliveCor, which hangs over this whole affair.

So if you’ve been waiting to buy someone an Apple Watch Series 9 or Ultra 2 as a holiday gift, you should probably take action in the next couple of days.

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