If you’re eyeing the latest Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) Watches for your holiday shopping, time is of the essence, as the Series 9 and Ultra 2 versions are set to be unavailable for purchase in the U.S. later this week unless the White House intervenes in an ongoing international patent dispute.
Apple has announced its decision to temporarily cease sales of the Series 9 and Ultra 2 models for online U.S. customers starting Thursday afternoon, with in-store sales to be halted from Sunday onwards. This action is a response to an October ruling by the International Trade Commission (ITC) that imposed restrictions on Apple’s watches featuring the Blood Oxygen measurement feature, a component of an intellectual property dispute with medical technology company Masimo.
The White House has a 60-day window to review the ITC order issued on October 26. While Apple could have continued selling the affected models in the U.S. until Christmas, the company stated in a Monday announcement that it has opted to pause sales early to ensure compliance with the ITC order.
Apple has expressed its commitment to taking all necessary measures to resume sales of the Series 9 and Ultra 2 models in the U.S. as soon as possible, contingent upon the outcome of the ITC’s decision. Meanwhile, the Apple Watch SE, which lacks the Blood Oxygen feature, will remain available for purchase in the U.S. after Christmas Eve. It’s important to note that previously purchased Apple Watches equipped with the Blood Oxygen feature are not affected by the ITC order.
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