Apple has found itself in hot water once again, as the US government has refused to veto a ban on the sale of the Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 in the country. This decision by President Joe Biden’s administration has left Apple with no choice but to remove both devices from its website and store shelves. The ban was implemented after the International Trade Commission (ITC) determined that Apple had infringed on blood oxygen saturation technology patented by a company called Masimo.
Apple was quick to express its disagreement with the ITC’s decision. An unnamed spokesperson from the tech giant confirmed their appeal and stated that they are “taking all measures” to return the banned devices to customers in the US as soon as possible. However, despite their efforts to block the ban, the ITC denied Apple’s request. The only remaining hope for Apple was a potential veto from President Biden, but that did not come to fruition.
The ban only affects Apple stores within the US, providing a small glimmer of hope for customers who can still purchase the Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 from other retailers such as Best Buy and Target. However, these supplies will inevitably diminish over time. Apple will continue to sell the Watch SE, as it is not equipped with the blood oxygen sensor that infringes on Masimo’s patents.
This situation leaves Apple facing uncertain options moving forward. One possible route is for Apple to make software changes to the blood oxygen sensor on both watches or disable the sensor on imported devices. However, these measures may not satisfy the ITC’s requirements. As a result, Apple may consider settling with Masimo to resolve the infringement issue.
For consumers, the ban may create frustration if they were planning on purchasing the Watch Series 9 or Watch Ultra 2 directly from Apple. The alternative of purchasing from other retailers can be a viable option for the time being. However, the limited supply in these stores may cause potential buyers to act swiftly before stocks run low. The ban does not impact customers outside the US, who can still acquire the devices without any impediment.
The ban on the Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 marks another setback for Apple in recent years. As the streaming wars, consumer tech advancements, and innovative developments continue to shape the market, Apple will need to navigate these challenges carefully. Finding a resolution that satisfies patent holders, such as Masimo, while still meeting customer demands for cutting-edge wearable technology will be a challenge.
The ban imposed on Apple’s Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 in the US market has created significant obstacles for the tech giant. As Apple appeals the ITC decision, the future remains uncertain. The potential for alternative solutions or a settlement with Masimo may offer some relief, but ultimately, Apple will need to find a balance between fulfilling legal obligations and satisfying customer expectations.