If your beloved person desires an Apple Watch as the most desirable gift for Christmas this year, it would be prudent to take swift action. The esteemed company, Apple, has recently made a proclamation that it shall discontinue the sale of its latest editions of the Apple Watch, namely the Apple Watch Series 9 collection and the Apple Watch Ultra 2, within the borders of the United States. This momentous decision was reached due to a verdict from the International Trade Commission (ITC), which ruled against the tech behemoth in a dispute over patents.
The disagreement centers on the blood oxygen tracking characteristic found in both the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2. This feature, which is intended to keep tabs on the wearer’s blood oxygen levels, has been determined to breach a patent owned by Masimo, a health technology company that specializes in medical devices. Masimo initiated legal action against Apple in 2020, claiming that the tech giant encroached upon its patents. In October, the ITC ruled in favor of Masimo, concluding that Apple had indeed violated two of the company’s patents.
Apple has confirmed that the affected models will be removed from its online store on December 21 after 3 p.m. ET and from Apple Store locations on December 24. However, there is still a window of opportunity for President Joe Biden to intervene. The ITC ruling gives President Biden until Christmas Day, December 25, to review the patent violations and potentially veto the decision, allowing Apple to continue selling the disputed watch models.
If President Biden does not intervene, those who already own an Apple Watch Series 9 or Ultra 2 will not be affected, and the Blood Oxygen feature will continue to function. Apple also plans to maintain the availability of its budget model, the Apple Watch SE, on the market.
It’s unclear when or if the Series 9 and Ultra 2 models will be available again in Apple stores, although there are rumors that independent merchants who have leftover inventory might still sell them. Experts predict that, despite the uncertainties, the Biden administration is unlikely to reverse the ITC’s decision because presidential meddling in these kinds of cases is uncommon. Notably, an ITC ban on specific iPhone and iPad models was denied by former President Barack Obama in 2013.