Apple announces flagship Apple Watches won't be available in the US anymore

Apple has informed a publication that it will be stopping sales of its Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 following an ITC ruling.

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Apple has informed 9to5Mac that it will soon be stopping sales of its flagship Apple Watch models following a recent ruling by the International Trade Commission (ITC).

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The ruling by the ITC involves an extensive patent dispute between Apple and medical technology company Masimo, which is debating over the ownership of the Apple Watch's blood oxygen sensor technology. Notably, the ITC announced its ruling back in October, which upheld a judge's decision from January. The case was then sent to the Biden administration, where it will undergo a 60-day Presidential Review Period, and throughout this period, President Biden can veto the ruling. The Presidential Review Period is scheduled to end on December 24, 2023.

As for the Apple Watch's in question, Apple has told the publication that it will no longer be able to sell its Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 in the United States after 3 pm ET on Thursday, December 21. Additionally, in-store inventory won't be available from Apple stores after December 24. The two affected watches are Apple's only devices using the blood oxygen monitoring technology, hence their imminent removal.

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Furthermore, after December 25, all Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 imports to the United States will be blocked, and Apple will be banned from selling the products to resellers.

Apple's full statement to 9to5Mac:

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 the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 from Apple.com 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.

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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