The Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 are currently at the center of a significant legal dispute with the International Trade Commission (ITC) in the United States, affecting their availability in the market. Here's an in-depth look at the situation and its latest developments.
The ITC Ruling and Its Impact
Recently, the ITC ruled that the blood oxygen sensor in these Apple Watch models infringes on two patents owned by Masimo, a medical device company. As a consequence, on Christmas Day, President Biden upheld the ITC's decision, leading to an official ban on the sale of these Apple Watch models in the U.S., both online and in retail stores.
Temporary Relief through Appeals
However, there's been a twist in the tale. Apple's appeal against this decision has led to a temporary pause on the ban. This means that, for now, you can still purchase the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 from third-party retailers like Best Buy and Amazon, though this window may close soon due to import restrictions.
Key Timeline of Events
December 27: A significant day as the U.S. appeals court granted a pause on the Apple Watch ban, extending until January 10. Apple is also working on a software update that might resolve the patent issues, with a decision due by January 12.
- Apple Watches return to select stores and online.
- Full appeal of the ITC ruling available.
December 26: The Biden Administration confirms its decision to support the ITC ruling.
December 24: Sales of the two models halted in retail.
December 22: A Stanford law professor's warning on future bans.
December 21: Removal of the models from Apple’s U.S. website.
- Impact on Apple Watch repairs and replacements.
December 20: Apple’s request for a delay in the ban denied by the ITC.
December 19: White House and Masimo's responses to the situation.
December 18: News on Apple's preemptive steps and software solutions.
The Current Scenario and What Lies Ahead
As it stands, the future of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 hangs in the balance, dependent on the outcomes of legal appeals and potential technical solutions. This ongoing saga highlights the intricate nature of patent disputes and their impact on tech giants like Apple and the broader market.
Stay tuned for more updates on this developing story, and for a deeper dive into each update.