Apple is briefly halting sales of its Watch Series 9 and
Ultra 2 models December 21 onwards. The event that has resulted in this move is
a conflict between the company itself and medical device maker Masimo over its
SpO2 sensor technology.
Apple is therefore taking necessary measures to protect
itself from any potential consequences from the ITC import ban that affects the
flagship Series 9 and Ultra 2 models. The ITC ban is concerned with the sales
of the Series 9 and Ultra 2 within the US only, therefore the watches will
still be available for purchase in other regions.
Masimo filed two distinct cases against Apple: one with the US District Court in the Central District of California and the other with the ITC. In the latter, Masimo argues that Apple committed a breach of its pulse oximetry tech. The current import ban is a result of the latter.
An Apple spokesperson has commented on the situation and
asserted that the company “strongly disagrees” with the claim and is following
a range of legal decisions so the sales of the Apple Watches could be resumed.
The ITC import ban is currently undergoing a presidential
review period that ends on December 25th, and US president Joe Biden will have
the option to veto the ban. Although presidential vetoes are not common, Apple
has benefited from one in the past, ten years ago. It is difficult to predict
whether or not the ban will continue to stand.