Apple will stop selling Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 in the U.S.


Apple has had a long-term patent dispute with medical technology company Masimo. For this reason, there are reports that Apple is now getting set to stop selling the Apple Watch S9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 in the United States. Well, this is not a rumour as Apple has just confirmed the news to CNN. Starting at 3 pm ET on December 21st, Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 will no longer be available for purchase from Apple’s official US website. Also, the inventory at Apple’s retail stores will be sold out on December 24th with no additions made.

Apple Watch Series 9 will get siginificant performance boost in years

Back in October, the  US International Trade Commission ruled that Apple violated Masimo’s pulse oximeter patent. This concerns the use of light-based technology to read blood oxygen levels. At the moment, the ban is not in effect because US President Biden has to review the ruling. The president has 60 days to review the ruling which means it will be done on or before December 25th.

However, Apple recently said in a statement

“While the review period will not end until December 25, Apple is preemptively taking steps to comply should the ruling stand … 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.”

The company adds that it 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.”

Background

Apple has been involved in a protracted patent dispute with Masimo, a medical technology company, over the technology used in the Apple Watch. The conflict began in January 2020 when Masimo accused Apple of poaching its employees and infringing on its patents to improve the Apple Watch. Masimo filed a complaint against Apple, alleging that the company had stolen its trade secrets and infringed on 12 of its patents.

In response, Apple filed petitions with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) to challenge all 12 patents-in-suit. In October this year, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) issued an order that could potentially ban the import of certain Apple Watches due to the patent dispute. The ITC found that the Watches infringed on one of Masimo’s five patents covering the pulse oximetry technology used in the watches. As a result, the ITC issued an import ban on the infringing watches, which was set to take effect on February 26 next year.

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However, Apple acted on the deadline early, pausing the sales of the affected Apple Watches in the U.S. after losing the patent case. The import ban does not affect Apple Watches already purchased with the blood oxygen feature. The dispute has also involved legal actions in federal courts, with Apple suing Masimo for patent infringement in Delaware. The conflict has been characterized by allegations of employee poaching, patent infringement, and the use of confidential information.

Apple Stops Selling the Apple Watch S9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 in the U.S.

Apple has recently made a significant decision to stop selling the Watch S9 and Ultra 2 in the U.S. market. This move comes as a surprise, as both watches were released only a few years ago and was well-received by users. The Apple Watch S9 and Ultra 2 were known for their advanced features, such as the S9 chip, Double Tap gesture, and improved battery life.

Read Also:  Rogbid Rowatch 8 Launched with 1.97-inch AMOLED Display and Advanced Health Monitoring Features

Apple Watch Ultra 2

Impact on the Market

The discontinuation of the Apple Watch S9 and Ultra 2 will have several implications for the market:

1. Price Drop: As the S9 and Ultra 2 models are no longer available, their prices may drop. This may make them more affordable for consumers who were previously unable to afford them.

2. Increased Demand for New Models: With the S9 and Ultra 2 out of production, users may now shift their attention. Those who want to buy these models will now look forward to their predecessors.

3. Alternative Options: Consumers looking for similar features and capabilities may consider alternative smartwatches. Products from other popular brands like Samsung, Fitbit, Garrmin and many Chinese brands have these features.

Conclusion

The discontinuation of the Apple Watch S9 and Ultra 2 marks a significant change in Apple’s product lineup. These models were well-received at their launch. However, the hands of Apple are tied in this situation. The company has no choice but to comply with the ruling of the ITC. Consumers who were considering purchasing these models should now explore alternative options or wait for potential future releases from Apple.

The dispute has significant implications for the wearable technology market and the use of pulse oximetry technology in smartwatches. Masimo’s CEO, Joe Kiani, has emphasized that the company is the rightful creator and inventor of the technology. The outcome of the patent dispute will likely have a lasting impact. Its impact will be felt in the development and commercialization of health-related technologies in the consumer electronics industry.

If the US President does not veto the court’s ruling, Apple will have to comply with the ITC resolution. It will have to remove the relevant Apple Watch from the shelves. Apple said that the ban only affects sales of Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2. This is because only these two devices use the controversial blood oxygen monitoring sensor. The other lower-end Apple Watch SE is not affected, so it can continue sales.

What do you think about the ITC ruling about the Watch S9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Disclaimer: We may be compensated by some of the companies whose products we talk about, but our articles and reviews are always our honest opinions. For more details, you can check out our editorial guidelines and learn about how we use affiliate links.

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1 Comment

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