In a surprising turn of events, Apple has been forced to halt the sale of its two most recent Apple Watch models, the Series 9 and Ultra 2, in response to a patent infringement case. The US International Trade Commission ruled in October that Apple had infringed on patents related to pulse oximetry technology, which is owned by Masimo, a prominent medical device maker.
The Ban and Its Impact
As of December 21st, Apple has frozen online sales of the affected Apple Watch models, and they are slated to be removed from physical Apple Store shelves after December 24th. This move is a direct response to an import ban imposed by the US International Trade Commission. Unfortunately, this means that Apple can no longer import and sell its newest Apple Watch models in the United States, at least for the time being.
The Legal Battle Unfolds
Apple is actively working on a solution to circumvent the ban, but the resolution may take some time. The company is caught in a patent rift with Masimo, and the outcome of their legal battle will undoubtedly shape the future availability of the affected Apple Watch models in the US market.
Impact on Repairs
The ban not only affects new sales but also has implications for out-of-warranty hardware repairs for several Apple Watch models. According to reports from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, out-of-warranty hardware repairs and whole unit replacements for the Apple Watch Series 6 onward (excluding the SE) are currently unavailable for the duration of the ban.
What to Expect as a Consumer
If you own one of the affected models and your device is out of warranty, it is advisable to exercise extra caution with your Apple Watch. However, products under warranty or covered by the extended AppleCare Plus program remain unaffected by this situation. Customers will be notified when hardware replacements become available, as reported by Gurman.
As the legal battle unfolds, it’s crucial to stay informed about the latest developments in Apple’s dispute with Masimo. Any resolution to the ban will have a direct impact on the availability of the Series 9 and Ultra 2 Apple Watch models in the US market.
We will continue to monitor this situation and provide updates as they become available. In the meantime, if you have any concerns or questions, feel free to reach out to Apple’s customer support for the latest information.