In a significant turn of events, Apple faces a sales ban for its Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 in the US after the Biden administration chose not to veto the decision, causing the tech giant to swiftly remove these devices from its website and store shelves.
The Office of US Trade Representative Katherine Tai stated that, after careful consideration, they decided not to reverse the International Trade Commission’s determination, prompting Apple's removal of the devices and subsequent statements of appeal.
An unnamed Apple spokesperson, as reported by Reuters, confirmed the appeal and expressed strong disagreement with the decision, assuring efforts to restore the devices to US customers promptly.
The ban roots from a patent infringement issue with blood oxygen saturation technology owned by Masimo, leading the ITC to order Apple to cease selling previously-imported devices with the contested tech. Despite Apple's attempts to block the decision and a denied appeal request, the ban only applies to Apple stores in the US, allowing customers to seek these watches at other retailers while supplies last.
While Apple navigates this setback, potential avenues include software alterations or disabling the sensor to comply with the ITC's ruling. Yet, a resolution with Masimo might also be on the horizon, leaving the company at a crossroads in handling this challenging situation.