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In an alarming move, Apple will stop selling the Apple Watch this week

lundi 18 décembre 2023, 16:08 , par Macworld UK

If you bought someone a new Apple Watch Series 9 or Ultra 2 for Christmas, their new gift might have just gotten a lot more valuable. According to a statement sent to 9to5Mac, Apple will halt sales of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 at its U.S. online stores on Thursday, December 21, and its U.S. retail locations on Sunday, December 24. Watches will still be available at third-party retail locations, though shipments to Amazon, Best Buy, and others will stop on December 25.

The shocking move is in response to an International Trade Commission decision announced in October, which upheld a ruling from January 2023 regarding Apple’s infringement on a patent for the Apple Watch’s blood oxygen sensor. A medical technology company named Masimo accused Apple of infringing on numerous patents and Apple was found liable on two accounts relating to the blood-oxygen sensor and ordered to stop selling products using the technology. 

Since the Apple Watch SE doesn’t have a blood-oxygen sensor, Apple can continue selling it in stores.

The ITC ruling in October began a 60-day Presidential Review Period during which President Biden could veto the ban. Since that hasn’t happened, Apple needs to stop selling the Apple Watch by Christmas to fully comply with the order. It’s unclear how Apple will handle the move, which will surely create confusion among shoppers who are unaware of the decision.

In a statement to 9to5Mac, Apple said it is “preemptively taking steps to comply should the ruling stand.” Biden could still veto the ruling this week, though Apple’s moves here make it seem like it isn’t all that confident that will happen. If the ruling is allowed to stand, Apple can file an appeal on December 26 (which it already said it would do), though that won’t affect the ban. To resume sales, Apple will need to either strike a licensing deal with Masimo or develop its own blood-oxygen tech that doesn’t infringe on Masimo’s patents.

Apple Watch

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mer. 24 avril - 04:39 CEST