Biden administration upholds ban on Apple Watch. How it impacts you? Explained – Hindustan Times

Dec 26, 2023 09:38 PM IST

What’s next after US Apple Watch import ban? Explained here through 8 points.

The US president Joe Biden’s administration on Tuesday opted not to veto a government tribunal’s ruling to ban imports of Apple Watches, following a complaint from medical monitoring technology company Masimo.

Apple Watch Ultra 2 signage at the company’s Upper West side store in New York, US, on Wednesday.(Bloomberg)

This means the order barring imports and sales of Apple Watches that use patent-infringing technology for reading blood-oxygen levels goes into effect from Tuesday.

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Also read: US trade tribunal’s ban on Apple Watch imports to continue, no breather from Biden government

How Apple Watch ban is going to affect the US customers?

• Apple informed its customer service teams through a memo that out-of-warranty models, dating back to Apple Watch Series 6, will no longer be replaced by the company in the US.

• This change means that issues like a broken screen on these models won’t be addressed through Apple’s replacement service; however, assistance with software-related problems, such as reinstalling the operating system, will still be provided.

• The decision impacts most new Apple Watches sold since 2020, including Series 6, 7, 8, and Ultra, as well as the current 9 and Ultra 2, all of which feature the blood oxygen function covered by the patents in question.

• Customers who purchased watches before ban and models still under warranty remain unaffected by the replacement prohibition, with the standard warranty lasting one year, extendable with AppleCare.

• Post ban, Apple won’t facilitate exchanges for watches purchased before the ban, like changing colour or size, during the usual return period. However, accessory replacements, such as bands, will still be allowed, and watches can be returned for a refund.

• The ban specifically applies to Apple and its “affiliated companies, parents, subsidiaries, or other related business entities,” and may not affect other retailers selling Apple Watches.

• Apple has already stopped selling the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 in the US on its online store, while the more affordable Apple Watch SE remains unaffected and continues to be available for purchase. However, Series 9 Apple Watches were still available from sellers including Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart in US

• Apple Watch sales in India will not impacted by the US tribunal order

Also read: From Watch X to updates in iPad lineup, here’s what to expect from Apple in 2024

What’s next after US Apple Watch import ban?

The ban on the watches will continue until Apple secures a licensing agreement with Masimo or resolves the issue.

Apple retains the option to appeal the ban to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

The tech giant is actively developing a software update, which it believes will address and mitigate the problem.

(Inputs from wires)

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