Apple resumes sales of Watch Series 9, Watch Ultra 2 in the US

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Apple Stores in the United States have resumed sales of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 after a week-long pause. The watch models – Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 – are now available for purchase at some selected Apple Store physical locations, with wider availability expected by Saturday, i.e., December 30. The online sales are scheduled to resume at noon ET on Friday, December 29.
The two Watch models had faced a ban over the disputed blood oxygen feature, which medical device-maker Masimo claims that Apple infringed upon. As the ban loomed, Apple paused the sales of two models, hoping for a veto on the ITC order from US President Biden. However, the administration decided not to pursue the veto. Thus, the ban was put into effect. After this, Apple appealed against the ruling at the Federal Courts of Appeal for a stay, which it has been approved.
The court has granted Apple permission to sell its watches, though temporarily. “We are thrilled to return the full Apple Watch lineup to customers in time for the new year. Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2, including the blood oxygen feature, will become available for purchase again in the United States at Apple Stores starting today and from apple.com tomorrow by 12 pm PT,” the company said in a statement.
In its appeal, Apple said it would “suffer irreparable harm” if the watch ban continued. According to Bloomberg, Apple’s Watch business generates about $17 billion annually.
The company further adds, “Apple’s teams have worked tirelessly over many years to develop technology that empowers users with industry-leading health, wellness and safety features and we are pleased with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has stayed the exclusion order while it considers our request to stay the order pending our full appeal.”
The ITC opposes the halt of its order, saying Apple did not face “irreparable harm” during the appeal as some watch models continued to sell. The ITC’s order applies only to watches with a light-based pulse oximetry feature. In a separate filing, Masimo requested to intervene and denied Apple’s emergency request for an interim stay, arguing there is no emergency.
Apple has suggested some modifications to its watches and is now waiting for the US Customs and Border Protection to decide on January 12. Masimi CEO has said that a software update would not work, since its patents are related to hardware. If the proposed changes are not approved, the court will determine whether to enforce a ban on the sale of the watches or to delay it until the patent dispute is resolved, which could take several months.



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