Apple Suspends Online Sales of Apple Watch 9 and Ultra 2, Impacting Repairs for Older Models

The Apple Watch 9 and Ultra 2 were launched this fall but have now been removed from Apple’s online and physical stores in compliance with the International Trade Commission’s import ban. The ban also affects service replacements for older Apple Watch models with a blood oxygen sensor.

Third-party retailers like Target, Amazon, and Best Buy can still offer the available supply of Apple’s latest smartwatches until inventory runs out. However, Apple will no longer replace out-of-warranty Apple Watch models with the blood oxygen feature covered by the patents in the ITC ruling.

Customers with a damaged watch will not have access to the assistance they need from Apple, as the company has instructed employees to only help with software issues. This is due to the compact and complex nature of the Apple Watch, which often requires replacement units instead of repairs.

The ITC ban on the Apple Watch 9 and Ultra 2 came after Apple was found to have infringed on two of Masimo’s patents. Masimo, a medical technology company, claimed that the blood oxygen sensor technology in these Apple Watch models infringes several patents.

The ITC’s decision is subject to a 60-day Presidential Review Period, during which the Biden administration could veto the ruling. In the meantime, Apple said it is working on a software update to work around the issue.

The ban does not affect the Apple Watch SE and allows Series 9 and Ultra 2 purchased before December 25 and within the one-year warranty period to be serviced or repaired.