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Apple is pausing sales of these two Apple Watch models in the U.S. – what you need to know

The Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 are about to be pulled from stores in the U.S.

Apple Watch Series 9 showing the double tap feature
Apple

If you were waiting to see how much money you got from Nana’s Christmas card before you bought yourself an Apple Watch as a treat after the holidays — revise those plans. Due to a bit of legal trouble, Apple will have to put a pin in things when it comes to selling two models of the smartwatch: The Apple Watch Series 9 and the Apple Watch Ultra 2.

The Apple Watch Ultra 2
Apple

Why Apple is pausing Apple Watch sales

Always check for a patent, friends. Your Apple Watch reports things like your heartbeat, steps taken, and even your health via your blood oxygen level. Well, that last one is the problem. Not to say we didn’t warn you, but we already let you know the International Trade Commission had found that Apple had infringed on a patent from the Masimo Corporation, and by Christmas, you wouldn’t be able to buy specific models until issues were addressed.

The legal battle

Your Apple Watch tracks your blood oxygen, telling you nitty-gritty details about your health. For those who have had COVID, are anemic, or have asthma, this is a great way to stay on top of your condition. Helping people stay healthy and know when to seek medical attention could only be a good thing, right? It is; unless you’re found to have infringed on someone else’s patent. 

Masimo had sued Apple back in 2021 for patent infringement with the blood oxygen monitoring technology, with the U.S. International Trade Commission ruling in favor of Masimo and upholding the ruling as recently as October 2023. 

Apple Watch Ultra 2 double tap gesture
Apple

The Apple Watches to grab right now

  • Apple Watch Ultra 2
  • Apple Watch Series 9

Say “see you later” to your friends the Apple Watch Ultra 2 and Apple Watch Series 9, which were released in September 2023. That cool feature seen in the ads with people double-tapping their fingers and thumbs together to use them is pretty fun, though.

As of December 21, those models won’t be imported to the U.S. or sold at Apple stores. You could still grab your Apple Watch at places like Best Buy or Target, but even then, by Christmas Day, you won’t be able to purchase one at all until this gets sorted. We gave a heads-up at the start of November, so you had time.

Now, if you don’t need or want the feature under fire, you could still get an Apple Watch that doesn’t have that feature, like the Watch SE model or older Apple Watch models.

How long the battle will last is up in the air since Apple will have to disable the sensor feature, file for an appeal, or find another workaround. None of that sounds like a quick fix, so get your Apple Watch right now, or know you won’t get one with that oxygen monitoring feature anytime soon. A Swatch watch is looking pretty good right about now, isn’t it?

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Dannielle Beardsley
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